Suez Canal unaffected by Port Said unrest: official

CAIRO Sat Mar 9, 2013 11:05am EST

1 of 3. Naval units try to put out the fires at the port after protesters burned tyres in Port Said city, 170 km (106 miles) northeast of Cairo, March 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Unrest in the Egyptian city of Port Said has not affected traffic in the Suez Canal, a spokesman for the strategic waterway said on Saturday according to state news agency MENA.

"The canal is far away of any political situation the country is facing and is safe and open to all ships passing through it," Suez Canal spokesman Tarek Hassanein told MENA.

"Attempts by some citizens to stop car ferries from crossing ... in the city of Port Said did not affect navigation in the canal," he added.

Around 2,000 protesters blocked car ferries from crossing the canal after death sentences were handed down to fans from the city for their role in a stadium riot that killed more than 70 people last year.

(Reporting by Marwa Awad, Editing by Sylvia Westall)

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