(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS PAPER ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Egypt Orders Military to Use all Force to Secure Sinai
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi stated on Wednesday that it was the responsibility of the military to restore security and stability in the Sinai peninsula within the next three months.
He ordered the army command to use all force necessary to secure the area, following a militant attack on a mosque last week that killed more than 300 people.
The president made his demand while addressing the new chief of staff Major General Mohammed Farid Hegazy in a speech marking the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.
Hegazy was appointed last month.
“You can use all brute force necessary,” urged Sisi without elaborating.
No group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s mosque attack, but Egyptian forces have been battling a stubborn ISIS affiliate in the North Sinai for more than three years and militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers.
The massacre, which took place as worshippers were praying in a village mosque on Friday, was the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history.
On Tuesday, Egyptian authorities said security forces have killed at least 14 extremists in Sinai and an adjacent Suez Canal province following Friday’s attack.
The Interior Ministry said 11 of the suspected militants were killed in a shootout on a farm in Ismailia province. Six suspects were arrested there.
Military spokesman Colonel Tamer el-Rifai added that three suspected extremists were killed in central Sinai. He did not elaborate.