Explosion near Cairo airport injures 12

By Hussein Elkabany

CAIRO (AA) – At least 12 people were injured late Thursday when an explosion tore through a petrochemical warehouse near Cairo International Airport, according to military sources.

“High temperatures caused an explosion at a chemical warehouse owned by the Heliopolis Chemical Industries Company (CIC),” Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said in a Friday statement.

“Civil-defense teams quickly rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze,” he said.

CIC is a subsidiary of Egypt’s Ministry of Military Production.

Basim Abdulkareem, a Civil Aviation Ministry spokesman, told Anadolu Agency late Thursday that the explosion that caused the fire had been heard many kilometers from the airport.

In a statement issued after the fire was put out, the ministry described air traffic at the airport as “normal”.

Mohamed Saeed Mahrous, chairman of the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation, however, said some flights were suspended for “security reasons”.

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UPDATE – Blast reported outside Cairo’s international airport

ADDS DETAILS, MINOR CHANGES

By Gulsen Topcu

CAIRO (AA) – A huge explosion rocked an area outside Cairo International Airport late Thursday, according to media reports.

The blast was followed by a fire, according to Egyptian state television.

The fire broke out in a fuel tank belonging to a private company close to the airport and was brought under control, it said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Basim Abdulkareem, a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Ministry, said the explosion and fire rocked an area far from the airport.

The ministry also said in a written statement that air traffic at the airport was normal.

But Mohammed Saeed Mahrous, chairman of the Egyptian Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation, said some flights were suspended for security purposes.

There are no casualties, Mahrous added.

He said the explosion took place in a tank of petroleum materials belonging to a petrochemical company on the road to the airport.

Blast reported near Cairo’s international airport

By Gulsen Topcu

CAIRO (AA) – A huge explosion rocked an area near Cairo International Airport late Thursday, according to media reports.

The blast was followed by a fire, according to Egyptian state television.

There has been no official announcement on the cause of the explosion.

Body of Egypt’s ‘blind sheikh’ arrives in Egypt

By Mahmoud al-Husseini

CAIRO (AA) – The body of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Islamic Group, arrived in Cairo on Wednesday, a source at the Cairo International Airport told Anadolu Agency.

“Cairo airport officials coordinated with the relevant authorities to finish all legal procedures so the body could be handed over to his family,” the source, speaking anonymously as he was not authorized to talk to the media, said.

Several of Abdel-Rahman’s relatives came to the airport on Wednesday morning to receive the sheikh’s body in advance of his burial in Egypt’s Dakahlia province.

On Saturday, Abdel-Rahman, the founder and spiritual leader of the Cairo-based Gamaa Islamiya (Islamic Group), died in the U.S. at the age of 79.

Also known as “the blind sheikh”, Abdel-Rahman was sentenced to life in prison in the U.S. for his alleged role in masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.