The Coptic Orthodox Church was among many institutions inside and outside Egypt that condemned a terrorist attack on Friday 20 October against Egypt’s police. The Church mourned “the valiant men who laid down their lives for their country”, and said it was praying for their souls as well as for their families and the loved ones they leave behind. It also said it prayed for a speedy recovery for the injured.
The Interior Ministry had issued a statement informing of the incident on Friday, but gave no details on the number of casualties. Reuters, however, said that according to security sources, the death toll among the police reached 52 on Saturday 21 October; some six are injured. Later in the day, the Interior Ministry announced that the death toll was 16 from the police and 15 terrorists, cited the names of the 16 and said arrangements were being made for their funeral.
Security sources said the police had been following a lead to a militant camp in the Western Desert near Bahriya Oasis where eight suspected members of Hasm Movement, an Islamic terrorist group that has targeted policemen and civilians among whom were judges, were believed to be hiding. The police were ambushed from higher ground by militants firing rocket-propelled grenades and detonating explosive devices.
The Interior Ministry said it was chasing the terrorist elements in the Western Desert.
Egypt is battling Islamic terrorist movements in Sinai on the east and in the Western Desert; the terrorists mainly target the military, police, and Copts.
21 October 2017