Greater Cairo public transportation utilities attacked
Cairo public transportation bus - YOUM7/Khaled Kamel

CAIRO: Five service trucks were burned down at a lot belonging to Giza’s Warraq district early Friday in a likely sabotage attack, and masked men set a Cairo public transportation bus ablaze after forcibly evacuating it.

The initial loss of the Warraq trucks is estimated at millions of EGP, as two of the wrecked vehicles were brand new garbage trucks and bucket trucks used for utility poles, Deputy Governor of Giza Alaa al-Harass told Youm7 Friday.

“There is no amount remaining in the limited budget that can be allocated to new trucks. Even if the needed money is available, we would need at least three months until a tender is offered. This would disrupt the governorate’s plan to serve its citizens,” Harass said.

Masked men evacuated a public transportation bus in Ain Shams district Friday and torched it with Molotov cocktails before fire fighters and locals put out the blaze, several media outlets reported.

On Thursday, masked assailants barged onto a public transportation bus with knives and ordered passengers to leave, and then set the bus on fire in Cairo’s Helwan district.

“The Public Transportation Authority (PTA)released only 30 percent of its bus capacity in Greater Cairo and halted the movement of the Heliopolis tram in fear of arson attacks,” head of PTA HeshamAttia told Youm7 Friday.

The Cairo iconic tram was set alight during a pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest and subsequent clashes with the police in November. Two men were sentenced in July to 10 and five years in prison respectively and were fined 635,000 EGP ($88,800) for “deliberately sabotaging the tram and other properties.”

Attia said the tram cost the government 5,000,000 EGP ($699,200) to repair it.

July and August witnessed several attacks against public utilities, such as high-pressure electricity and cellphone towers. The two months mark the anniversaries of the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the bloody dispersal of Rabaa al-Adaweya and Rabaa sit-ins.

Additional reporting by Enas el-Banna and MagedTemraz.

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