Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Militants Kill an Army Officer in Arish, Egypt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File Photo: Smoke emerges following a blast in North Sinai (Photo: Reuters)

Cairo – An Egyptian army officer was killed after militants targeted a security patrol in the country’s North Sinai province.

A security vehicle was struck in a roadside bomb while passing through the city of al-Arish in North Sinai, killing Colonel Yassir al-Hadidi and injuring three other officers.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian government had banned the use of drones.

A security expert said that those kinds of aircrafts are driven without a pilot and used by terrorists to gather information and target the army and the police.

Militants of the “Wilayat Sinai” planted a roadside bomb targeting the police car while passing by in Arish. The armored vehicle was patrolling the area where extremists of Wilayat Sinai, which have links to ISIS, are heavily located.

Egyptian army and police had been targets of several attacks in Sinai since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi was ousted in a military coup.

Since then, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in militant attacks across the volatile peninsula, most of which Ansar Beit al-Maqdis and Wilayat Sinai had claimed responsibility for.

Security forces said that dozens of extremely dangerous leaders had been killed during those campaigns as well.

Security sources reported that the forces are still pursuing the militants involved in the roadside bomb.

Interior Minister Lieutenant Majdi Abdul Ghaffar was the first among the mourners for Colonel Hadidi as the ministry stresses that such terrorist acts will only increase the policemen’s will to continue their war on terrorism and protect Egyptian people.

Over the past few days, security forces targeted several militants and terrorists’ locations in north Sinai and were able to kill many of them while a lot others were arrested.

Military spokesman Colonel Mohammed Samir said that the forces were able to kill a terrorist while attempting to plant a bomb. He added that two main tunnels used by the terrorists were destroyed as well as 66 pre-prepared explosives.

The spokesman said that 73 member suspected of their support for terrorists had been arrested. He also mentioned that the forces captured two cars ready to explode and three motorcycles the militants were planning to use in suicide attacks.

In addition, Egyptian government has approved a draft law banning the import or use of drones and aircrafts automatically and wirelessly flown in Egypt.

The bill also prohibits trafficking or use by all institutions or Egyptian public and private bodies operating in Egypt and persons and legal persons working in Egypt without the consent of the competent authorities and in accordance with the rules and conditions specific.

Anyone who violates the new law will be sentenced from one year to seven years and fined between 5000 thousand pounds Egyptian.

The bill is expected to be referred to the Egyptian Parliament at a later date for approval.

Strategic and security expert Colonel Sayid Abdul Mohsen said that these drones are used by terrorists in espionage and information gathering to be used in operations against the army and police.

Mohsen told Asharq Al-Awsat that these drones were heavily used since the terrorist Brotherhood groups and some militants arrested recently had such instruments.

Earlier, several MPs had requested the ban of the drones, especially after one had been used in February in photographing the Jouna area in the Red Sea district.

Lieutenant Hamdi Bkhit said that using the drones can harm the national security. He confirmed that the new law will be welcomed in the parliament and mostly approved.