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downterrorCAIRO: Egypt oil minister Osama Kamal has dismissed the head of state-owned Misr Petroleum and another top official due to a crisis in distributing fuel used by buses and trucks, state news agency MENA said.

He also ordered the supply of an additional one million litres of diesel to military-run filling stations to ease shortages which have been dragging on for months.

Kamal appointed Saeed Mostafa, head of state-owned refiner and distributor Petrotrade, to replace Nasr abu al-Saud as Misr Petroleum chief on Sunday, MENA reported.

He also dismissed Egyptian General Petroleum Co's head Amro Mostafa, and appointed deputy chief executive Tarek al-Mallaat in his place.

Egypt, which has endured two years of political instability since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, is trying to control a soaring budget deficit and secure a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF.

It is working on an economic programme where it plans to cut back on subsidies of fuel. Last year it eliminated subsidies on 95-octane gasoline, the highest grade available, and it raised fuel prices in many sectors last month.

In July the government plans to start a scheme to ration subsidised motor fuel using smart cards available to drivers of vehicles with smaller capacity engines.