Egypt grounds kites for 'safety', 'national security'
Police seized 369 kites in Cairo on Friday, Al-Ahram reported, while Akhbar Al-Youm, another state newspaper, said police confiscated 99 kites and fined five people in the northern region of Alexandria.
The ban was brought in "to ensure the safety of citizens after a number of accidents" involving kites, Alexandria's governorate said this week on its Facebook page.
Fines imposed for kite-flying in the Mediterranean city can reach up to 1,000 pounds (about $60).
Egypt's skies have been filled with thousands of colourful paper kites flown by youths from rooftops and on corniches, as the hobby took off during night-time curfews to limit the spread of coronavirus.
But they have also raised complaints, including from an MP.
Khaled Abu Taleb, a member of parliament's Defence and National Security Committee, said last month he wanted the prime minister briefed on the dangers of flying kites because they posed "a national security threat".
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The kites might be equipped with surveillance cameras, he said.
Abu Taleb was roundly ridiculed on social media in Egypt, where operating a drone is only authorised with a special permit.
A three-month curfew was lifted in June, even as cases of Covid-19 in Egypt continue to rise, with over 80,000 declared infections and nearly 4,000 deaths to date.
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