Flight from Cairo to London delayed over suspected bomb

Anonymous caller said two passengers were suicide bombers planning an attack

Sat, Sep 7, 2013, 18:56

Officials at Cairo’s international airport have said a flight to London was delayed after security services received a tip-off concerning a possible bomb attack on the plane.

The officials said an anonymous caller told state security by telephone that two passengers on the EgyptAir flight were suicide bombers who had planned an attack.

They said the flight’s passengers were being searched in the boarding area, and that the delay should last one hour. All luggage was taken off the plane to be checked by sniffer dogs, they added.

Earlier today, authorities defused three mortar rounds placed on railway tracks near the Suez Canal. On Thursday, the interior minister escaped an assassination attempt. Security officials say the militants behind the suicide bombing were linked to groups in the Sinai.

Attack

Meanwhile, the Egyptian army mounted a major operation against Islamist militants in North Sinai today, killing or wounding at least 30 people, security officials said.

Dozens of armoured vehicles backed by attack helicopters took part in the operation near Sheikh Zuweid, a few kilometres from the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Fifteen people were detained in the operation, which the officials said targeted militants responsible for attacks on the security forces.

Hardline groups have expanded into a security vacuum that opened up in North Sinai after the downfall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Their attacks have escalated since July 3rd, when the military deposed president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, with almost daily assaults on the security forces and other targets in the desert peninsula bordering Israel.

Agencies