Thursday,20 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1242, (16-22 April 2015)
Thursday,20 September, 2018
Issue 1242, (16-22 April 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Bomb blasts black out TV

Nile Sat channels resumed broadcasting hours after bomb blasts ripped through two of their electricity towers, reports Ahmed Morsy

Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt’s Nile Sat television channels gradually resumed broadcasting on Tuesday morning in Sixth October City after bomb attacks on two electricity pylons late on Monday.

Six improvised bombs went off on Monday at around 10pm at two electricity pylons feeding the Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC), which is located four kilometres from the production city, resulting in a temporarily electrical blackout of all satellite channels that broadcast from the EMPC, according to the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy. It was reported that the Armed Forces provided the EMPC with a number of electric generators following the power failure.

Three bombs placed at each tower destroyed both electricity towers, however, no casualties were reported. Bomb experts defused two other bombs placed in the same area. The Ministry of Electricity said it will take between seven to 10 days to repair the two towers, with the cost ranging from LE600,000 to LE800,000.

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company said in a statement on Tuesday that Pylon 21, located near the Sixth October electricity station and the EMPC, collapsed as blasts hit its foundations. It said Pylon 20 was also hit; it tilted but did not fall.

The Electricity Transmission Company started backup electricity generators at EMPC to restore power and is currently working on fixing the pylons.

Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat has opened an investigation into the incident, and ordered the National Security Apparatus to investigate and bring those behind the blasts to justice.

On Tuesday morning, Revolutionary Punishment (Al-’iqab Al-Thawri), an anti-government Islamist militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack. According to security experts, the movement is believed to be affiliated to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The movement has used violence against police and Armed Forces. In March, the movement claimed responsibility for an explosion that took place in front of the High Court, located in downtown Cairo, resulting in the death of two civilians.

Revolutionary Punishment has reportedly called for a new strategy of armed resistance against security forces, saying peaceful protests were no longer effective against the regime, and called on supporters to combine armed operations with constant protests in order to achieve their goal.

The movement garnered attention through its social media account after publishing photos of bomb attacks against police and government sites nationwide, praising them or claiming responsibility.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb accompanied by Interior Minister Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar visited the site of the blasts. During the visit, another bomb exploded nearby.

A third explosion at an electricity pylon in Sixth October, which reportedly provides power to factories in the satellite city, led to power cuts at nearby factories around 20 kilometres away from the first two pylons. But Mohamed Geneidi, head of the Sixth October Investors Association, told Al-Ahram that the organisation “has not received any complaints” about power cuts from factory owners.

Since the forcible dispersal in August 2013 of sit-ins staged in support of former Islamist present Mohamed Morsi, a number of anti-government militant groups have claimed responsibility for attacks against police personnel, judges, public institutions and security facilities. Most of the groups use social media to claim the attacks, posting videos of either assassination attempts or bombings.

In recent months, bomb attacks by unknown assailants have increasingly targeted electricity substations, towers and circuits in several parts of the country and near economic and other strategic targets. Egypt suffers crucial energy problems with frequent blackouts particularly during summer when there is peak use.

In March, simultaneous bomb attacks at electricity transmission units cut power off at Egypt’s industrial Tenth of Ramadan city.

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