Egypt launches offensive against militants

2013-09-07 18:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Egypt
    This book is jam packed with all the fascinating facts and information you need to know about Egypt. Now R149.00
    buy now
Cairo - Egyptian helicopter gunships and tanks pounded suspected hideouts of Islamic militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula on Saturday in a major new offensive in the insurgent stronghold, officials said.

The assault came after a long column of armoured vehicles and trucks poured into the targeted areas in what residents said was one of the largest operations there in years.

Meanwhile, the country's prosecutor general filed new charges against deposed President Mohammed Morsi of having insulted the country's judiciary.

A security official said "dozens" of insurgent suspects were killed and wounded in the Sinai offensive, which comes two days after a failed suicide bombing targeting the country's top policeman in Cairo. Smoke could be seen rising from the towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweyid, and troops set up a cordon to prevent militants from escaping as others combed the area, he said.

The northern Sinai, which adjoins Israel and the Gaza Strip, has long been a haven for militants including al-Qaeda-inspired groups. Attacks have spiked in the Sinai since Morsi's July 3 ouster, prompting the latest army offensive.

Largest operation

"This is by far the largest operation we have seen and the one we have been waiting for," said Sheikh Hassan Khalaf, a tribal leader from al-Joura, one of 12 targeted villages in the area. "Starting today, you will not hear of attacks on army or police checkpoints as before. They either have to flee or get arrested," he added.

He said helicopters had been hovering overhead since early morning, and had struck four cars of militants as they tried to flee. He said that at least 50 soldiers were going house-to-house through his village on foot, looking for militant suspects.

The government says it is waging a "war on terrorism" against both the Sinai militants and supporters of Morsi. His Muslim Brotherhood group has organised street demonstrations to protest his overthrow and subsequent deadly assaults on protest encampments, but some followers have also staged apparent retaliatory attacks against police stations, churches, and other targets.

In Cairo the prosecutor general charged Morsi with "assaulting" the judiciary for accusing 22 judges of forging election results in 2005, according to Egypt's official news agency MENA. Egyptian law treats insulting a judge as a crime.

The agency said that Morsi refused to answer questions in relation to the charges. Morsi has been held incommunicado since his July 3 overthrow by the military after millions took to the streets demanding that he step down.

Violent clampdowns

The ousted Islamist president faces a long list of accusations, including conspiring with foreign groups to orchestrate a prison break during the 2011 uprising which forced long-time autocratic president Hosni Mubarak of power. He is also charged of inciting violence and killing of protesters during December 5 clashes between proponents and opposition clashes in front of the presidential palace. He was referred to trial but no date has been set.

Successive violent clampdowns on pro-Morsi protesters sparked a wave of unrest across the country. In one of the most dramatic attacks to date, Mohammed Ibrahim, Egypt's Interior Minister in charge of security, survived a car bomb explosion in an eastern Cairo neighbourhood. The Health Ministry said one was killed and 22 wounded, while the minister was unharmed.

For weeks, authorities have reported the discovery and defusing of bombs said to have been found in populated areas. On Saturday, three mortar rounds were found tied to railway tracks linking the Suez Canal cities of Suez and Ismailiya, according to a security official. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press. On Friday, MENA reported that two explosive devices were defused next to a Giza mosque.

- AP
Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  north africa
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Adventure holidays you HAVE to put on your bucket list

Need a break from your usual boring routine? Consider one of these places for your next adventure holiday.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

6 impressive camping tips
Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.