Tarek al-Mahdy, governor of New Valley and former member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), survived a shoot-out with unidentified men on Monday.
A security source said Mahdy was following up on a notification that he had received on Monday from Hamdy Abdel Mawgoud, member of the Shura Council, saying a group of men were stealing parts of the railway line linking the Abu Tartour phosphate plant with the city of Safaga.
When the men saw Mahdy coming with a security force, they started shooting, prompting Mahdy to take the pistol of his guard and shoot back at them.
Mahdy is a military general who was leader of the army's Air Defense Forces, and was also an official in the Morale Affairs Department, which is responsible for the military’s public relations. In August, Mahdy was appointed governor of New Valley.
He was the SCAF representative on the Radio and Television Union’s Board of Trustees briefly after the former board was dissolved in response to pro-democracy protesters' demands in February 2011.