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Egypt thwarts Suez attack

March 21, 2012 at 9:27 AM

CAIRO, March 21 (UPI) -- An Egyptian official said an alleged plot to attack ships in the Suez Canal had been thwarted.

A source in the Egyptian Interior Ministry was cited by the official MENA news service as saying a resident was plotting an attack on shipping lanes in the Suez Canal. The plan targeted foreign tankers passing near Ismailia province.

The area was the site of a discovery last year of a weapons cache that included eight surface-to-air missiles and three launch pads.

The Israeli military in August launched a raid on Egyptian targets after militants crossed the border in the Sinai Peninsula, killing eight Israelis. Six Egyptian security personnel were killed in the raid, stoking anti-Israeli sentiments.

The August attack was allegedly carried out in coordination with a group calling itself al-Qaida in the Egyptian Sinai, though it was unclear if the group has working ties with al-Qaida central or Hamas.

Natural gas pipelines in the region have been the frequent target of insurgent attacks.

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