Gasoline shortage hits Egypt, tempers flare

March 22, 2012 - 10:55 AM

CAIRO (AP) — An acute fuel shortage in Egypt has disrupted Cairo's already congested traffic, with long lines of vehicles snaking around gas stations, and drivers spending the night in their cars.

In rural Egypt, witnesses on Thursday said scuffles and knife fights erupted among frustrated drivers. Some even fired guns in the air.

Workers at gas stations complain of receiving only half their usual quantity of fuel.

Making matters worse, public transportation has been crippled by a weeklong strike.

Fingers are pointing in all directions.

The government blames the black market. Many drivers blame the government for mismanagement. Others blame the sagging economy.

Egypt's economy has been battered by the aftereffects of last year's uprising that deposed longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. Because of continuing turmoil, tourism and foreign investments are down drastically.