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Egypt steps up efforts to restore security - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A soldier stands next to an armoured personnel carrier (APC) near the Egypt stock exchange near Tahrir Square in Cairo, September 17, 2013. (Reuters.Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

A soldier stands next to an armoured personnel carrier (APC) near the Egypt stock exchange near Tahrir Square in Cairo, September 17, 2013. (Reuters.Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Director of the media division at Egypt’s Interior Ministry, Brig. Gen. Ayman Helmy, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that 121 police officers were killed, and 1,082 injured, as part of operations to restore stability across the country following the nation-wide Muslim Brotherhood protests in response to former president Mohamed Mursi’s ouster. He added that the Egyptian security forces are continuing the operation to restore calm and security in Egypt following a difficult transitional period.

The figures revealed by Helmy covered the period from August 14—the day when the two pro-Mursi protests in Cairo and Giza were dispersed—until yesterday. They also covered a number of operations where security was established in areas that had witnessed tensions and extremist attacks, most recently the village of Dalga in Upper Egypt which had been under the control of Mursi supporters.

Helmy told Asharq Al-Awsat: “All the forces that liberated Dalga are still there, and the area is being searched,” adding that members of “Central Security and Public Security forces, as well as commanders from the ministry, are all present in the village.” He also said that the people of Dalga were relieved by the capture of the wanted criminals and the continuing intensive security presence there.

Egyptian security forces have a number of other areas which still require intervention to restore security and secure the capture of dangerous criminals who pose a threat to public safety, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula and the Karadsa area of Giza, near Cairo.

Helmy said: “All operations are being carried out according to security coordination and assessment…and when one operation is concluded, another begins.”

He added: “We are in agreement that the army, police, and the public stand as one in the face of terrorism and the dangerous criminal elements everywhere.”

In a related incident, criminal investigation officers, assisted by national security officers, arrested 15 people described as being “dangerous terrorists” who are wanted by the authorities, seizing a cache of weapons in Minya Province.

The state Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted Minya Province governor, Gen. Salah Zeyada, as saying that calm had been returned to Dalga after security forces and local residents regained control of the village. He denied that there were any armed clashes or loss of life in the operation to restore control of the village.

Zeyada added, “The state, through its executive and security institutions, cares for the residents of the village and helps them by arresting criminals who endanger their lives,” adding that “the damage caused in the village by the criminals would be restored.”