Egyptian Army Announces Death of 24 Terrorists in Sinai

An Egyptian military vehicle in northern Sinai. Reuters

Cairo- Egyptian armed forces said Sunday that at least 24 terrorists and six soldiers were killed as they foiled terror attacks aimed at targeting checkpoints in al-Qawades district, North Sinai.

Armed Forces Spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said in a statement that one terrorist was also injured during the clashes.

During the operation, 24 militants were killed and another one was injured when law enforcement forces thwarted a failed terrorist attempt

The armed forces also destroyed two vehicles, which were used by terrorists, and the forces are currently combing the area of the incident and chasing the attackers.

North Sinai has witnessed many terrorist attacks since the January 2011 revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt is fighting an insurgency by militants affiliated with ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013 when the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi after mass protests.

Since then, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in attacks across Sinai, especially in the peninsula’s volatile northeastern quadrant, which shares borders with both Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

The militants have also extended their campaign to other parts of Egypt, most recently attacking churches in Cairo and other cities with the loss of dozens of lives.

7 Killed in Militant Attack in Egypt’s North Sinai

Sinai

Seven people were killed on Monday when militants robbed a bank and engaged in a shootout with security forces in northern Sinai in Egypt, security sources said.

Four policemen were killed in the attack when five SUVs, each carrying four gunmen, fired at security forces nearby the unused Saint George Church before robbing a branch of National Bank of Egypt, in al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai.

Three civilians were also killed in the assault, officials said.

“They looted the entire bank and left explosive devices inside,” a senior security official said.

“The militants fired shots randomly in the street as if they were celebrating with some of them raising their black flags (of ISIS) and they roamed the streets for about 20 minutes then disappeared,” said Alaa Lotfy, a shop owner in the area who witnessed the clashes.

Fifteen people were injured in the attack, officials added.

A bank employee appeared to have been kidnapped in Monday’s attack, they revealed.

Security forces cordoned off the city center and evacuated residents living in the bank building.

Pictures posted on social media by locals from al-Arish showed school girls fleeing a school located in the vicinity of the bank and the church.

Services at the church were suspended months ago, following a wave of attacks on Christians in Sinai.

At least 24 militants and six soldiers were killed on Sunday in attacks on military outposts in North Sinai. The attacks were claimed by the ISIS affiliate in Sinai.

On Thursday, six other policemen were also killed in an attack by the terrorists in al-Arish.

6 Egyptian Soldiers Killed in Sinai Terrorist Attack

Terrorists attacked a checkpoint in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula where authorities are fighting an insurgency, leaving six Egyptian soldiers dead, a military statement said.

“Armed terrorists attacked one of the security checkpoints in Arish city, using hand bombs and firearms,” the statement said.

Security searched the area and chased the gunmen, the army added.

Two of the gunmen were killed and one was injured during the exchange of fire that lasted about half an hour, security sources said.

Four army personnel were also injured, they added.

Egypt is fighting an insurgency against militants affiliated with ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula where hundreds of security forces have been killed since 2013.

ISIS Releases Footage of Sinai Failed Attack

File photo of an Egyptian military vehicle on the highway in northern Sinai

Cairo- Hours after security authorities in Egypt announced the death of a security recruit who stopped a bomb-laden car driven by a suicide bomber on its way to the Central Sinai Cement Factory, terror group ISIS published footage related to the attack on Wednesday.

In its statement, ISIS said that the executor was called Abu al-Qaqaa al-Ansari.

According to security sources, Wednesday evening “a guard at the main gate of a cement factory in the center of the center of Sinai was killed after a vehicle driven by a suicide bomber tried to storm the factory.”

Ahmed Ban, a researcher on Islamic movements in Egypt, told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS doesn’t publish failed operations, except for some of its attacks.

In the case of the cement factory in Sinai, the circulated footage was meant to “challenge the official reporting relayed by Egyptian authorities and provoke doubts over authorities declaring the security guard to have died as a hero.

Since the toppling of former President Mohamed Morsi, terror groups have incessantly targeted the military, security men, security installations and checkpoints. They adopted the approach of carrying out many killings against soldiers, mostly in Sinai— and even targeted a Russian passenger plane flying over the peninsula.

An ISIS-linked website published on Wednesday 3 pictures showing at which the suicide terrorist attempted to drive the car into the factory’s premise, the moment of detonation.

Sources cite that it was the guard opening fire at the vehicle that prevented a true disaster in central Sinai.

Egypt Thwarts Terror Attack on Security Post in Sinai

Egypt

The Egyptian army thwarted on Wednesday a terrorist attack against a security position in northern Sinai.

A military spokesman said that two soldiers and five “takfiri” elements were killed in the failed assault. Two others were wounded.

Tamer al-Rifai said in a Facebook statement that the security forces stopped the terrorist operation at 6:30 am.

He explained that the terrorists sought to take advantage of the poor visibility at that early hour in order to attack the security position.

One of the attackers was wearing an explosives belt and attempted to storm the security post.

“Thanks to the security members’ vigilance, the terrorist was killed and the rest of his colleagues were dealt with directly,” added Rifai.

Five were killed and two wounded, while the rest fled the scene. Security forces were in their pursuit.

“The armed forces will go ahead with their efforts and sacrifices to eliminate terrorism and restore stability and security for the great Egyptian people,” declared the spokesman.

On Monday, at least 18 Egyptian police officers were killed in northern Sinai in an attack claimed by the ISIS terrorist group.

Saudi Arabia Condemns ISIS Attack that Killed 18 in Egypt’s Sinai

Sinai

Cairo, Jeddah – Saudi Arabia condemned on Monday the terrorist attack in Egypt’s Sinai region that left 18 policemen dead, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

A source from the Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attack in the city of al-Arish, offering his condolences to the Egyptian government and people.

He stressed the Kingdom’s solidarity with Egypt in standing against terrorism and extremism.

ISIS had declared its responsibility for the attack as security experts said that the assault took extensive planning.

“This demands that the security forces reconsider their measures. The problem in Sinai lies in the fact that the terrorists are living among the locals,” making them more difficult to detect, they explained.

The Egyptian government condemned the terrorist attack and Prime Minister Sharif Ismail expressed the state’s determination to firmly confront “those cowardly criminal acts.”

He vowed that Egypt will pursue the terrorists, noting that the frequency of the attacks demands a united international stance in combating terror in the world.

“These attacks by the forces of darkness and terrorism will only make the Egyptian people more determined to defeat terror and restore their security and stability,” stressed the premier.

A media official at the Interior Ministry said that Monday’s attack took place as a security convoy was passing in the Bir al-Abed area in al-Arish. It was targeted by a car bomb, which damaged a number of the police vehicles.

A shootout with the terrorists, who were hidden in the desert area by the road, soon ensued. Eighteen police officers and three of the attackers were killed.

18 Egyptian Police Killed in Sinai Ambush

Egypt

Eighteen members of the police force were killed on Monday when militants ambushed a convoy in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Seven others were wounded in the attack, said security and military officials.

The attack started with roadside bombs that destroyed and set ablaze four armored vehicles and a fifth one carrying signal jamming equipment. The gunmen later opened fire with machine guns and commandeered a police pickup truck.

Among those killed were two police lieutenants. The wounded included a police brigadier general.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of ISIS.

The attack took place about 30 kilometers (nearly 19 miles) west of al-Arish in northern Sinai, the epicenter of a long-running insurgency now led by the terrorist group.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

There was no immediate comment from the Interior Ministry on Monday’s attack. State news agency MENA quoted a high ranking ministry official confirming the attack and casualty figures.

Security forces were exchanging fire with militants near the explosion site and managed to kill several of them, MENA said.

Monday’s attack was the deadliest against security forces since July, when ISIS terrorists attacked a remote army outpost in the border town of Rafah, killing 23 soldiers. That was the deadliest attacks in two years.

In March, the military said militants killed 10 soldiers during an army raid in Sinai’s central region.

Egypt has battled militants in Sinai for years, but the insurgency became far more deadly after the 2013 military ouster of Mohammed Morsi. In recent years there has also been a wave of attacks, mainly targeting security forces, blamed on a splinter faction of Morsi’s banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

Monday’s attack came a day after authorities said they had busted an extremist cell planning attacks in Cairo.

Police said they killed 10 extremists in two simultaneous raids on apartments in a densely populated Cairo neighborhood. They said the militants sneaked into the capital from northern Sinai.

10 Terrorists Killed During Clashes with Egyptian Police

Egyptian Military Tanks in Sinai

Cairo – At least 10 terrorists were killed on Sunday during a security raid in Giza province near Cairo, according to Egyptian police.

A security source reported that the clashes also resulted in the injury of nine policemen, including three officers.

Egyptian Interior Ministry issued a statement saying that the terrorists were extremist elements escaping from North Sinai province and hiding in two apartments in Giza’s Ard al-Liwaa district in preparation for carrying out a number of terror operations.

“Fire exchange with eight militants in the first apartment led to killing of them and shootout in the other apartment killed two,” said the statement, noting that the gunfire was started by the militants and continued for four hours. One of them threw an explosive device at the forces but it blew him off, it added.

The ministry stated that they discovered in the first apartment two machine guns, a dagger, and 5800 Egyptian pounds. Different types of ammunition were seized during the raid, also.

The statement identified six militants: Akram al-Amir Salem Mohammed Hareb, 38, Amer Ramadan Ibrahim al-Dib, 23, and both are wanted in national security cases, in addition to: Moaz Ahmed Yehya Ahmed, 22, Hamzah Hicham Hussein Ibrahim, 22, Sharif Lotfi Khalik Abdulaziz, 43, Khalil Sayyid Khalil Ahmed, 27.

The ministry didn’t state the organization to which the terrorists belong.

In other news, Cairo Criminal Court set September 25 as the day for the retrial of several Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Morse and Mohammed Badi. They are trialed for crimes of espionage for foreign countries and organizations as well as revealing national security secrets and coordinating with several armed violent organizations inside and outside Egypt. The delay was decided after the court announced it was difficult to bring the defendants from jail.

In June 2015, Cairo’s court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood’s leaders Khairat al-Shater, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Ahmed Abdul al-Ati to death along with 13 other members.

Eight Hasm Movement Extremists Killed in Egyptian Police Shootout

Cairo- Egypt’s interior ministry announced on Sunday the death of eight terrorists and the arrest of five Hasm extremists in Faiyum, Giza, and Sharqia.

Egyptian police killed eight Hasm Movement militants in a shootout during a raid on their training camp south of Cairo, the interior ministry said in a statement. According to the statement, two other Hasm hideouts located in Giza and Sharqiya governorates were raided.

Five other militants were arrested in operations carried out in Giza and Sharqiya regions, it said.

The National Security Agency was able to discover a hideout used by the group in a desert area in Fayoum, to train “new youths elements” on the use of arms, the ministry said in a statement.

Automatic rifles, ammunitions and supplies were recovered at the Fayoum camp southwest of the capital, the ministry said. Police also found documents detailing upcoming terrorist operations at the two Hasm hideouts.

Founded in 2016, The Arms of Egypt Movement, abbreviated as Hasm Movement, is an active extremist militant group operating in Egypt.

Hasm has claimed several attacks on security forces, said on Friday it had carried out a shooting last week in Fayoum, a province about 60km south of Cairo, that killed one policeman and injured three others.

Egypt accuses Hasm of being a militant wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, a hardline group it outlawed in 2013.

Sunday’s announcement comes only two days after the police said they had shot dead two Hasm leaders during a raid on their hiding place, also in Fayoum, which is around 100km south of Cairo.

Egyptian security forces have arrested and killed dozens of suspected Hasm members in the past few months.

Recently the Hasm Movement has claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack in Cairo, which killed two police officers and injured three conscripts.

Five Egyptian Police Officers Killed in Attacks North Sinai

Egypt

Cairo- Five police officers were killed and others were injured Monday after the explosion of two homemade bombs that were hidden in the ground in Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, which is witnessing security disturbance, according to a security source in the Egyptian Ministry of Interior.

The wounded officers were taken to the hospital to receive treatment, and the explosion area was combed by explosives experts to make sure there were no other bomb containers.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came as part of a series of terrorist acts that hit the country over the past two weeks as dozens of soldiers, policemen, and foreign tourists were killed and wounded in an armed attacks and ambushes targeting police vehicles and a tourist resort in the governorates of North Sinai, Giza, and Hurghada.

These terrorist attacks have taken place at a time when Egyptian authorities have imposed a state of emergency throughout the country since April.

The Egyptian army, with the help of the police, is engaged in a fierce war in the Sinai peninsula, especially the northern part, against extremist organizations that have been carrying out sporadic acts of terrorism against members of the army and police and are targeting Christians.

One of the most prominent organization is “Ansar Bait al-Maqdis,” which pledged allegiance to ISIS and changed its name to “Wilayat Sinai” in November 2014. Its latest attack has led to the death of more than 20 soldiers and the injury of 26 others in Rafah last Friday.

In this context, Armed Forces Spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said that in the past two weeks, 22 four-wheel-drive vehicles were seized and 28 Egyptian nationals were arrested in the western borders with Libya while attempting to smuggle goods without paying their customs fees.

Rifai explained in a statement on Monday that these operations come in the framework of the efforts exerted by armed forces to eliminate takfiri and criminal militants.

He noted that legal measures are currently taking place by the concerned parties against the detainees and the seized products.