Suez Canal
Suez Canal Israel news photo: Flash 90

Authorities in the Suez Canal said on Saturday that a "terrorist" staged an unsuccessful attack on a container ship passing through the canal in an attempt to disrupt the flow of ships through the waterway.

The attempt failed completely and there was no damage to the ship or the containers it carried, reported Al Jazeera.

"One of the terrorist elements has carried out a failed attempt to affect the movement of ships in the Suez Canal by targeting one of the passing ships, Cosco Asia," the head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish said in a statement, referring to the Panama-flagged ship.

"The attempt failed completely and there was no damage to the ship or the containers it carried. The situation was dealt with strictly by the armed forces," he said, adding that the traffic of ships is moving normally.

The statement did not specify what kind of attack it was, but shipping sources told the Reuters news agency they heard the sound of two explosions as the ship passed through the waterway.

Blocking the canal would have an immediate effect, especially on exports from Asian factories to markets in Europe and the United States.

Egypt has faced a string of attacks in the North Sinai region after the army, prompted by mass protests, overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3.

The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since Morsi’s removal. Egypt's army is currently engaged in an offensive in Sinai to curtail the surge in violence.

More than 1,000 people, including 100 security officers, have died in protests in Egypt demanding the reinstatement of Morsi.

It was not immediately clear whether the attempted attack was related to Morsi’s ousting.