Long lines, protests and fights as fuel shortage continues

The fuel crisis continued on Monday throughout the governorates. Several gas stations in cities across the country witnessed altercations between drivers fighting over the limited supply of gas.

In Sohag, some 70 drivers blocked the railway today to protest the fuel shortage. The sit-in stopped all trains in Upper Egypt for 90 minutes. Security forces requested that officials in charge of the petroleum supplies release more gas onto the market in order to end the protest.

Daqahliya saw long lines in front of gas stations and two drivers were injured in a fight when they tried to cut in front of the line.

Long lines also caused traffic jams in Mahalla, where locals were attempting to buy fuel in jerry cans for resale on the black market. The Freedom and Justice Party is forming popular committees in partnership with other parties to attempt to resolve the crisis.

Only diesel fuel was available in Minya today, where a police officer was wounded in a brawl in front of a gas station.

In Alexandria, the chamber of commerce warned of a possible 20 percent cut in the supply of butane gas cylinders.

Economists are warning against abolishing fuel subsidies in order to avoid further fights and protests, and suggested readjusting vehicles to use natural gas.

Egypt has witnessed a continuous fuel crisis since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak ,who is now serving a 25-year jail sentence for failing to prevent the killing of protesters during the 25 January revolution.

State institutions have been blaming each other for the shortage, with the Petroleum Ministry saying it is providing the needed amounts of fuel, while the Supply and Domestic Trade Ministry claims it is failing to address the shortage.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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