egypt power cut
Mostafa Khaled, 20, studies by candlelight for his early morning exams during a power cut in Toukh, El-Kalubia governorate, about 25 km (16 miles) northeast of Cairo May 26, 2013 reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

A massive power outage left many parts of Egypt, including the capital city of Cairo, in the dark and sparked fears of a terrorist attack on Thursday morning, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported.

However, Egypt’s Electricity Minister Ahmed Shaker told reporters that the power cut was caused due to “technical problems” and not a terrorist attack.

“Power is gradually being restored,” electricity ministry spokesperson Mohammed al-Yamani told Agence France-Presse, adding that the power cut was caused due to a “malfunction” in the western districts.

The major blackout, which reportedly began around seven in the morning Thursday, caused massive traffic congestion on Cairo's roads during morning rush hour. Services on many of the city's metro lines were suspended for several hours in the densely populated city. Many television stations were also affected by the power cut.

Cities and towns in the northern governorate of Alexandria and the southern region of Aswan also reported blackouts Thursday.

While Egypt, where temperatures frequently exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit, has been hit by a series of blackouts in recent months -- caused by ageing infrastructure, a shortfall in local gas production and mounting debts to foreign oil and gas companies -- Thursday’s blackout was the most extensive one in years, according to media reports.

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