Arrests, lines and fights as diesel crisis persists

The diesel shortage crisis continued throughout Egypt yesterday as a number of gas stations in different governorates saw fights between drivers and traffic jams.

In Gharbiya Governorate, diesel disappeared from stations, particularly in the city of Zefta. Ashraf Hosny, a local resident, said that the crisis continues despite government pledges to achieve a solution. Hosny also said that bakeries, which rely on diesel for distribution, have suffered as a result of the shortages.

In Assiut, the shortage led to lines of cars, trucks and taxis at gas stations that were long enough to close main streets and cause traffic jams. There were also reports of quarrels between drivers and gas stations owners.

Taxi stands around the country were crowded as drivers abandoned their cars for cheaper forms of transportation.

The price of diesel has risen from 110 piasters per liter to 150 per liter.

In Ismailia, authorities arrested Mohamed Salah Abuzeid, 45, of Meit Ghamr, Daqahlia Governorate for attempting to smuggle almost a ton of diesel to Sinai.

A number of farmers have presented complaints to municipal councils, saying they are harmed by the diesel shortage. The farmers say that because of a lack of diesel they have not been able to irrigate their land.

In Suez, authorities detained three boats at the port of Attaka that were allegedly smuggling diesel to the Red Sea and selling it to cruise ships. The boats have been confiscated and their owners fined LE5000.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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