Cairo: Panic is gripping Egypt’s coastal city of Suez after an anonymous man injured six women in separate knife attacks, local media has reported.
Police have tightened security across the city, about 110 kilometres east of Cairo, setting up checkpoints and mobile patrols in pursuit of the suspect.
Suez Governor Abdul Majid Saqr on Tuesday met the city’s senior security officials and discussed plans to arrest the suspect, who has triggered panic mainly among local women.
The victims said that the purported stabber was riding a motorcycle when he attacked them in different parts of the body ranging from the shoulder, the leg to the back.
All the victims concurred that the assailant had stolen nothing from them.
“I was walking on the street at 3 in the afternoon after I left a private tuition centre, when a man on a motorcycle hit me with a sharp tool in the shoulder and fled,” said Marwa Essam. “He then returned, driving in the opposition direction, stabbed me in the knee before fleeing,” the girl, 17, told private newspaper Al Watan.
Marwa estimated the assailant’s age at about 19 years. “He wore a cap and did not steal anything from me,” she said.
Another victim was also a student, who said she had sustained an injury in the rear part of her leg in a similar attack.
“Later, I learnt that more than one girl was attacked in the same way and the assailant fled,” added the 17-year-old student, R.M.
Two separate attacks occurred near the Suez University against two female students, according to private newspaper Al Masry Al Youm.
The victims reportedly included a woman who was wearing the full-face veil, niqab, at the time of the attack. Although no fatality has been reported, the assailant is dubbed in the media as the “Suez serial killer”.
Security officials downplayed the attacks as isolated incidents aimed at spreading public panic.
“We are conducting full investigations and checking surveillance cameras in the streets where the attacks took place,” a security official said.
Security has also been tightened around the city’s university and girls’ schools, Al Masry Al Youm reported.