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The construction site of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, located at Dabaa in Matrouh Governorate, has been looted and vandalized, a source from the Ministry of Electricity and Energy said on Monday.
The official, who spoke to Al-Masry Al-Youm on condition of anonymity, accused security authorities and the governor of North Sinai of “causing the disaster.” The official said the initial losses were around LE0.5 billion.
He also accused a businessman and former member in the defunct National Democratic Party of being “behind the chaos,” but did not name the businessman allegedly involved.
The source said the meteorological station, ground water station and many of the offices had been attacked by “organized looters,” who took objects including computers, monitoring devices for earthquakes, furniture, cables and transformers.
However, other reports suggest that the construction site was attacked by residents of the area angry at the way in which the land for the power plant had been acquired by the government.
Residents of Dabaa staged a sit-in on Saturday after clashes with Egyptian military police on Friday. The clashes left 41 people injured, including 29 soldiers, according to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
On Friday, about 500 residents had rallied demanding the dismantling of the nuclear power plant, saying their land had been confiscated for the project. They say the government did not compensate them for the land it took.
Mohamed Kamal Abd Rabu, head of the workers' union at the power plant, said that recently some Dabaa City residents “directly attacked the Dabaa national nuclear project site by bombing the rest houses and destroying the infrastructure using dynamite and loaders.”
During a meeting with members of the new parliament, Matrouh Governor Taha Mohamed al-Sayed said that Dabaa “is experiencing its worst days because of the looting, thefts, and bombings occurring at the nuclear plant’s construction site.”
Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri is expected to meet with Sayed within hours to discuss the Dabaa power plant issue.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm