President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi accused on Saturday “foreign elements” of supporting the attacks on army checkpoints in North Sinai on Friday which left at least 30 army personnel dead and more than 25 injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far.
The deceased will receive military funerals in the presence of Al-Sisi
“These terrorists’ attacks are aiming to break the will of the Egyptians,” said Al-Sisi.
In a speech, after his meeting with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Al-Sisi said new security measures will take place on the border with the Gaza Strip to “face terrorism”.
He added that a military confrontation against what he called “terrorists” will take place, where casualties are expected. “The current war is a conflict of survival, where we are fighting to return the return of the Egyptian state and its institutions”
Al-Sisi praised the role of the armed forces and the police in their latest raids on terrorist cells in Sinai. “Without these operations which killed hundreds of extremist elements, the situation in Sinai would have been worse.”
On Saturday morning, Al-Sisi headed a meeting of the SCAF, where they confirmed their intention to fight terrorism and to provide the necessary measures to facilitate military operations in the Sinai.
The council added that a committee headed by top personnel in the armed forces is to investigate the attacks and cooperate with the police to discuss the situation in Sinai.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb on Saturday condemned the attacks, describing them as a “despicable terrorist act”, according to state media.
“The Egyptian people and all peace-loving peoples should stand together against the terrorism”
Mehleb stressed that Egypt has been waging a war against terrorism since the 30 June events, emphasising the importance of rallying behind the political leadership, the army, and the police”.
On Friday night, Al-Sisi met with the National Defence Council to issue a presidential decree declaring a state of emergency in North Sinai for a period of three months, including a curfew from 5pm to 7am.
The decree added that security forces are to be authorised to use force against any suspected danger. Also, starting on Saturday Egypt closed the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, until further notice.