Cairo- Egypt’s army said on Wednesday that it had effectively destroyed 12 vehicles loaded with arms crossing the borders from Libya.
More so, the army added that it had thwarted an attempt staged by a number of militias on infiltrating western borders.
He added that “striking terrorism and protecting the border, through the process yesterday, is a consolidation of the army to the people,” Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The air force acted after hearing that “criminal elements” had gathered to try and cross the western boundary, the army statement said, without giving details on exactly where or when the strikes took place.
The attacks came a month after Egypt launched a series of air raids in Libya on what it said were ultra-hardline militants responsible for attacking Christians in its territory.
“The attempt to breach the border with a four-wheel drive took place during the holy Islamic holidays,” the spokesman said.
He further explained that the militiamen were planning to exploit the holidays, but army taskforces were looking out with a watchful eye to protect their country.
The army spokesman said that the militants were located based on intelligence information indicating that they were planning to enter the borders from the west.
According to the Egyptian army, as soon as information showed that the target has crossed into the south of Siwa, a desert area, the General Command of the Armed Forces issued orders for the air force to take off and sweep the border area, detect and follow hostile targets.
The spokesman confirmed that the strikes resulted in destroying the 12 SUVs. He said that they were loaded with large quantities of weapons, ammunition and explosive materials.
The operation took place south of the Siwa Oasis located between the Qattara Depression and the Egyptian Sand Sea in the Western Desert, nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border, and 560 km from Cairo.
Rifai added that fugitive militants are being pursued with army forces saving no effort in taking legal action against them.
“This comes as an extension of air forces and border guards carrying out their duties with unbound determination, despite the holidays, hoping to secure national borders,” he added.