Car accidents, robberies increase on Red Sea-Sohag road due to lack of security

Despite issuance of decision by Major General Mohamed Ibrahim, interior minister, a year and half ago to form security committee to set locations of security ambushes on 300-kilometer Red Sea-Sohag road, being a strategic road linking between Upper Egypt and the Red Sea, no steps were taken. Dozens of car accidents as well as robberies take place weekly.

No permanent ambushes of patrols are found on the road, except at the beginning of it at Safaga, where a wooden booth is found with an employee inside to collect fees for vehicles passage. The same scene can be seen again at the end of the road at entrance of Sohag governorate to collect traffic fees.

Ahmed Hussein, a taxi driver, says he drives on the road since its was opened. He never saw security ambushes or any kind of control. Gangs rob the vehicles and goods on the road, abduct people to ask for ransom, he adds. Last of these accidents was the abduction of a lawyer who paid LE100,000 for his release.

Saleh Omar, lawyer, says he traveled on that road more than once, where he noticed absence of any control as well as the speedy cars, exceeding specific speeds, which led to many crisis.

Meanwhile, Badawy abdel Karim, tour guide, called for providing security services on the road, so one-day-tourist-trips would be organized to visit the archaeological sites in Sohag, Akhmim and Abeedos.

Environmental Researcher Ahmed Ghallab warned against smuggling of weapons and drugs due to presence of many valleys on the road.

However, security source said that the security and traffic committee concluded its work and submitted its report to Interior Ministry and located places for the ambushes, but is waiting on providing the ambushes with necessary troops and vehicles to secure the road.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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