Egyptian passenger train derails near city of Aswan; 6 hurt

It is not clear what caused the train to derail in southern Egypt, on Sunday, July 29, 2018. (Aswan Governorate via AP)
Updated 29 July 2018
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Egyptian passenger train derails near city of Aswan; 6 hurt

  • Eight of the train’s carriages were derailed and lifting tools, cranes and maintenance teams were dispatched to the site
  • Egypt’s railway system has a poor safety record, mostly blamed on decades of badly maintained equipment and poor management

LUXOR, Egypt: An Egyptian passenger train derailed Sunday near the southern city of Aswan, injuring at least six people and prompting authorities to fire the chief of the country's railways.
It was not clear what caused the derailment, which took place near the Salwa train station in Kom Ombo, north of Aswan, the Transportation Ministry said. Eight of the train's carriages were derailed and lifting tools, cranes and maintenance teams were dispatched to the site, the ministry added.
Khaled Megahed, spokesman for the Health Ministry, says the injured were taken to hospital.
Hours after the incident, the head of the railways authority, Sayed Salem was fired, according to a statement from Transportation Minister Hesham Arafat who appointed Ashraf Raslan as acting head of the authority.
The accident comes two weeks after another passenger train derailed in Cairo's twin city of Giza, when at least 55 people were injured.
Egypt's railway system has a poor safety record, mostly blamed on decades of badly maintained equipment and poor management. Official figures show that 1,793 train accidents took place in 2017.
In March, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the government lacks about 250 billion Egyptian pounds, or $14.1 billion, to overhaul the run-down railway system. El-Sissi spoke a day after a passenger train collided with a cargo train, killing at least 12 people, including a child.
Last August, two passenger trains collided just outside the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people. In 2016, at least 51 people were killed when two commuter trains collided near Cairo.
Meanwhile, a bus crash in the Mediterranean city of Port Said on Sunday killed nine people and injured 18 others, Megahed said.
He said the accident happened when the bus collided with a truck on a highway linking Port Said — which is located on city on the northern tip of the Suez Canal — with the capital, Cairo.
Road accidents are common in Egypt due to badly maintained roads and vehicles and poor enforcement of traffic laws.


UN Security Council approves Hodeidah ceasefire monitoring force in Yemen

Updated 16 January 2019
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UN Security Council approves Hodeidah ceasefire monitoring force in Yemen

  • Deployment will be known as the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement
  • Resolution requests the larger force to be deployed expeditiously

NEW YORK: The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized the deployment of up to 75 observers to Yemen's port city of Hodeidah for six months to monitor a ceasefire.

The Security Council last month authorized an advance monitoring team led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert and asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to recommended a larger operation.

The initial deployment came after a deal reached during talks in Sweden between the Iran-backed Houthi militants and the internationally recognized government. The UN says the ceasefire that went into force on Dec.18 in Hodeida has been generally holding, but there have been delays in the redeployment of Hothi and some government forces from the city.

The British-drafted resolution adopted on Wednesday asks Guterres to "expeditiously" deploy his recommended larger operation, which will be known as the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).
The resolution also "requests Member States, particularly neighboring States, to support the United Nations as required for the implementation of UNMHA's mandate."
Guterres described the mission as a "nimble presence" that will report on violations in Hodeida, which for months was the front line in the war after pro-government forces launched an offensive to capture it in June.

Hodeidah is the entry point for most of Yemen's commercial goods and aid supplies, and a lifeline for millions of Yemenis on the verge of starvation.