CAIRO, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Egypt stepped up security along the Suez Canal after threats were received that jihadists were planning attacks along the waterway, officials said.
Citing security sources, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat said Sunday the army and police have beefed up presence along the waterway, tightened security inspections and have deployed helicopters.
Egyptian security personnel also erected barbed wire and security barriers and set up checkpoints and soldiers have secured rooftops of buildings overlooking the waterway and bridges, the newspaper said.
The stringent security measures will remain in effect until the end of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, the newpaper said.
In addition to intelligence reports about the possible attack, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has also called for an attack on the army, the newspaper said.
The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway some 193 miles long and connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The waterway is a popular shipping route between Europe and Asia .
Egyptian security forces continued to crackdown on militants operating in the region during the weekend. Soldiers arrested 76 terror suspects in raids on 20 villages in the Sinai Saturday, the newspaper said.