Church mourns eight soldiers killed in terror attack

15-04-2018 08:32 PM

Mariam Farouq Lucy Awad

The Coptic Church has issued a statement mourning eight soldiers killed in a terror attack against a military camp in central Sinai, as announced by an army communiqué on Saturday 14 April.

The Church stressed it always prays for Egypt and the policemen and military men who lay down their lives for their country’s safety and security. It expressed appreciation of all endeavours to purge Sinai of the [Islamist jihadi] terrorists who barricade themselves there.

The statement concluded with prayers for peace, and sincere condolences to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives.

Egypt’s Armed Forces had issued a statement last Saturday in which it said it had foiled a major terror attack in central Sinai, killing 14 terrorists who had attempted to break into military camps. “The terrorists killed were all armed with automatic rifles, medium-calibre rifles, and RPGs. Four among them wore explosive belts.

“They attempted to break into camps of the Egyptian Armed Forces at dawn on Saturday, but their attempt was foiled.”

The incident is the most recent among Egypt’s ongoing Operation Sinai 2018, launched, as the Armed Forces say, “to implement a plan of comprehensive confrontation of terrorist and criminal elements and organisations in North and Central Sinai, and in other areas in the Nile Delta and desert areas west of the Nile Valley”.

The most recent army communiqué on Operation Sinai 2018 said that, during the past few days, the Egyptian army and police in North and Central Sinai have killed 27 takfiris—Islamists who see all others as apostates—and arrested 114 suspects, 21 of whom were found to have criminal records.

The communiqué, the 19th since the Operation started in early February 2018, came in the form of a seven-minute video-statement.

The statement described 15 among the takfiris who died as “extremely dangerous”; six died in strikes by the Egyptian Air Forces. The remaining 12 were killed during clashes with the police.

According to the statement, the terrorist hideouts seized were found to house ammunition and arms. Moreover, security forces confiscated and destroyed over 15 vehicles and 43 motorcycles used by the terrorists. Some 150 hideouts filled with arms, ammunition and military uniforms were destroyed.

Over the past few days, the military statement explained, army engineers safely detonated 30 IEDs that had been planted by takfiris to target security forces.

The raids also led to the discovery and destruction of 20 marijuana and opium farms in Central Sinai, as well as a number of underground border tunnels in the North Sinai border town of Rafah.

The navy seized a suspect ship in the Red Sea that was carrying 1,350kg of heroin.

The Egyptian army said that border security forces organised more than 585 patrols on highways and desert roads in the past few days.

Watani International

15 April 2018

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