Egypt's Sisi vows to quash terrorism

China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-24 07:46

CAIRO - In his first remarks after a deadly attack on the country's police force, Egypt's president vowed on Sunday to press ahead with the country's war against terrorism, secure its borders and hunt down militants.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's remarks came nearly 48 hours after authorities officially announced that at least 16 policemen were killed in a brazen ambush by militants southwest of Cairo.

Sisi called for intensifying security and military efforts to prevent any infiltration attempts by terrorists via the country's borders.

He also affirmed that the sacrifices of those policemen, who were killed in the attack, will not go in vain.

Security officials said the death toll reached 54, making it one of the worst attacks against Egypt's police in years. However, it wasn't immediately possible to reconcile the conflicting reports.

Chairing a meeting attended by the top security officials, including defense and interior ministry representatives, Sisi said: "Egypt will continue its confrontation against terrorism and those financing and standing behind it, with strength, decisiveness and efficiency, until it's curbed."

Egypt's Sisi vows to quash terrorism

The ambush began when security forces acting on intelligence moved against a purported militant hideout 130 kilometers outside Cairo. Backed by armored personnel carriers and led by senior counterterrorism officers, the police contingent drew fire and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the security officials. What happened next has not been clarified, but many officers were killed and others injured.

The Interior Ministry said 15 terrorists were either killed or injured in the armed clash.

"As soon as the first mission approached the location of the terrorist elements, they sensed the arrival of the forces and targeted them using heavy weapons from all directions," the ministry said.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack near Egypt's vast western desert, where a previous series of attacks were blamed on extremism militants pouring in from Libya.

However, a local affiliate of the Islamic State group is spearheading an insurgency across the country.

Egypt has been fighting against a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Terror attacks in Egypt used to be centered in North Sinai before spreading nationwide and killing hundreds of policemen and soldiers over the past few years.

Security raids have killed hundreds of militants and led to the arrests of a similar number of suspects as part of the country's anti-terror war.

AP - Xinhua - Reuters

(China Daily 10/24/2017 page11)

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