Update Egypt’s local news digest Nov. 22: One killed, 5 others injured in an explosion in New Ismailia city; PM says government gives Nubians the priority in Toshka lands
A number of Nubian people staged a sit-in along the Aswan- Abu Simbel highway, protesting the sale of piece of land in Toshka on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2016. Photo/Youm7

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top local news stories on Nov. 22 here:

One killed, 5 others injured in an explosion in New Ismailia city

A civilian was killed and five others were injured after an explosion took place in New Ismailia city, Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced in a statement on Tuesday.

When a building workers were digging in an area allocated to build a service compound in New Ismailia city, an unknown object exploded.

Initial investigations revealed that the unknown object is a “remnant of wars” in the coastal city. Meanwhile, the incident site was cordoned by the security forces.


PM says government gives Nubians the priority in Toshka lands

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said that the Nubian people have the right of priority to own lands in their homeland Toshka, Youm7 reported on Tuesday.

The government “will give absolute priority to Nuba people in area of Forkund village land of Toshka, which is a piece of land offered for sale by the government to the investors for cultivating in light of the national project of reclaiming 1.5 million feddan nationwide.

A number of Nubian people protested in Upper Egypt’s Aswan since Saturday against auctioning a piece of land in Toshka for non-Nubian investors, Youm7 reported.

The Nubian protesters blocked Aswan- Abu Simbel highway on Sunday after the authorities refused to allow them to go to Toshka to protest against the sale of the piece of land.

The Prime Minister will also meet with the Nubian parliamentarian in the House of Representatives on Wednesday to discuss this issue.


Cairo governor approves new tariff for “white taxi”

Cairo governor Atef Abdel Hamid approved the new tariff for Cairo’s white taxi saying that it will come into force as of Tuesday, Youm7 reported.

The set fare to start the ride was increased to four EGP up from three EGP, with 1.75 EGP per kilometer instead of 1.4 EGP in the old tariff.

The decision comes after fuel prices increased earlier this month by up to 47 percent following the central bank’s decision to float the Egyptian Pound in order to address a dollar shortage.


PM, lawmakers discuss Nubian’s protest against sale of Forkund village land

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met with a delegation of parliament members to discuss possible solutions to end an ongoing sit-in staged by Nubians at the Abu Simbel-Aswan highway to protest the government’s plan to sell land- they claim to be their ancestral territory- to investors, state news agency MENA reported.

The sit-in was started Saturday after security forces refused to let them head to their old Nubian villages of Forkund to protest against a presidential decree to allocate land in the village for investment development.

Thousands of feddans at Forkiund were recently allocated to the 1.5 million feddan reclamation project launched by President Abdel Fatah al Sisi last year.

Ismail asserted that Nubians will have the priority to possess the 12,000 feddans of the mega project.

Thousands of Nubians have been displaced in 1960s during the construction of the High Dam.


Antiquities ministry denies damage to Alexandria’s Kom al Shoqafa catacombs

The antiquities ministry denied media reports claiming part of decorations in the main burial chamber at Alexandria’s Kom al Shoqafa Catacombs has been damaged and collapsed due to subterranean water, Youm7 reported.

In an official statement on Monday, head of the central department of maintenance and restoration at the antiquities ministry Gharib Sonbol said that the tombs are “sound and safe” and that the media reports are” unfounded claims.”

“The only thing to have fallen was some mortar from restoration carried out in the 1980s, which doesn’t threaten the catacomb or its walls,” said Sonbol.

The necropolis, which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages, consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences.


EgyptAir, NBE agree to sell int’l tickets in installments

EgyptAir and the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) have agreed to launch a new service for their customers to purchase international air tickets on installments, Youm7 reported Tuesday.

The tickets are to be purchased from EgyptAir headquarters using the NBE’s credit cards. They are offered in six and 12 installments at the lowest interest rate, chairman and managing director of EgyptAir Airlines Sherif Ezzat was quoted by Youm7.


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