100 militants, 17 army soldiers killed in Egypt clashes

GMT 05:43 2015 Thursday ,02 July

Arab Today, arab today 100 militants, 17 army soldiers killed in Egypt clashes

Attack in Egypt
Cairo - XINHUA

 Egyptian military raids killed 100 terrorists in North Sinai while 17 army troops were killed and 13 others injured in confrontations on Wednesday, the Egypt Armed Forces said in a statement carried by official MENA news agency.

The statement came hours after Islamist extremists launched massive attacks on several military checkpoints in North Sinai bordering the Palestinian Gaza Strip and Israel.

"Armed Forces elements in North Sinai in cooperation with the Air Forces chased the militants, destroyed their gathering places, killed at least 100 terrorist elements, wounded many others and destroyed 20 vehicles used by the militants," the statement said.

Also on Wednesday, security forces killed nine wanted Islamist extremists, including Muslim Brotherhood figures, in a fire exchange at an apartment in 6th of October district in Giza, near Cairo.

The Interior Ministry said that the armed Islamists opened fire at the police and attempted to run away "which forced the forces to exchange fire until they succeeded in killing them all," noting the police found three machine guns and ammunition in their possession.

On the other hand, Brotherhood group, currently blacklisted as "terrorist," said Wednesday in a statement on its official website that the liquidated members were armless, claiming they were detained in an apartment and killed in cold blood without investigation.

The outlawed group said it rejects the murder and violence in Sinai and elsewhere and held the Egyptian leadership "responsible for the consequences."

The bloody clashes came one day after the second anniversary of June 30 mass protests that ended up with the overthrow of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military in early July 2013.

After the assassination of Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat in a car bombing on Monday, the country's leadership has urged tougher legal procedures with the extremists charged with violence and terrorism.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Egyptian cabinet approved a package of bills "to achieve fast justice and quick retaliation for our martyrs," including an anti-terrorism draft law.

"The cabinet confirms its full support for the armed forces and the police in the procedures they do to combat terrorism, and we're confident that their efforts will eliminate terrorism," the cabinet said in a statement Wednesday.

The Egyptian government further vowed that "all legal and diplomatic measures will be taken to deter and disclose those in charge of these terrorist acts."

Over the past 24 hours, security forces arrested at least 56 members and loyalists of Morsi's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group who are charged with violence and terror activities nationwide, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry.

Similarly, the police arrested Wednesday 12 Brotherhood supporters in Qaliubiya province, some 40 km north of the capital Cairo, over anti--government protests and inciting violence.

Later on, also in Qaliubiya, the security forces managed to defuse an explosive device that unknown assailants attempted to plant near a sporting club in Benha city.

Deadly terrorist attacks in Egypt have been condemned both internationally and regionally, especially that Egypt's military-oriented new leadership has pledged a fierce "war against terrorism."

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Al-Araby "strongly condemns" the terrorist attacks that targeted security men and facilities in North Sinai.

"These terror operations and criminal acts will only increase the will of the Egyptian people and its government to go ahead in facing the activities of terrorist groups and their destructive thoughts that seek to undermine the security and stability of Egypt," Araby said in a statement Wednesday.

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