Explosion sets off fire outside Egypt’s Cairo airport, air movement unaffected

Security sources said the blast appeared to be at a structure used to store fuel. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 July 2018
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Explosion sets off fire outside Egypt’s Cairo airport, air movement unaffected

CAIRO: An explosion ripped through fuel tanks near Egypt’s Cairo airport on Thursday evening, igniting a fire in the area, but the country’s civil aviation minister said air movement was unaffected.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately known.
Egyptian state television reported that firefighters had brought the fire under control. It said the tanks outside the airport perimeter belonged to a private company, which was not identified.
Regional television stations showed ambulances racing toward the scene.
Egypt is battling an Islamist militant insurgency that has carried out attacks, mainly in the remote Sinai Peninsula, where the army has been conducting a security operation since February.


Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

Pro-government drive in an industrial district in the eastern outskirts of the port city Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 18 sec ago
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Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

  • Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday
  • UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week

SANAA: Iran-backed Houthi militias have said they are ready to mobilize more fighters to the frontline despite a lull in battleground Hodeidah, as the UN envoy prepares to visit the country to boost peace efforts.

Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday, apparently getting ready to head toward Hodeidah, a Red Sea city home to a vital port.

Men, some of whom looked very young, were lining up with bandoliers around their shoulders and rifles in their hands, chanting Houthi slogans.

Residents said on Sunday that relative calm had held in Hodeidah city since pro-government forces announced a pause in their offensive last week amid international calls for a cease-fire and UN-led peace efforts.  They added, however, that they remain on edge.

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week to finalize arrangements for peace talks to take place in Sweden soon.

Hameed Assem, a member of the militia delegation expected to take part in the negotiations, said that Houthis will continue to mobilize if UN efforts for peace fail to materialize.

Pro-government forces on Wednesday suspended their 12-day offensive in Hodeidah.

Griffiths said on Friday that both the government and the Houthis have shown a “renewed commitment” to work on a political solution and have given “firm assurances” that they will attend the talks. No date has yet been set.