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Egypt's El-Sisi says foreign hands behind Friday Sinai attack; vows action

Egyptian president says that deadly attacks in Sinai are the result of a 'broad conspiracy' aimed at driving a wedge between the people and the army

Ahram Online , Saturday 25 Oct 2014
Sisi
In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, center, speaks in front of the state-run TV ahead of a military funeral for troops killed in an assault in the Sinai Peninsula, as he stands with army commanders in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in comments aired on state TV on Saturday that "foreign hands lie behind Friday's attacks" on army soldiers in Sinai that killed 31 troops and injured 30.

Surrounded by top military generals, El-Sisi's comments came immediately following an emergency meeting of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on Saturday morning.

At the emergency meeting, which was headed by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the SCAF tasked a group of its senior leaders with studying the circumstances of the latest terrorist attacks in Sinai.

On Friday, 28 soldiers were killed and another 30 injured when a car bomb exploded at the Karm Alkwadis security checkpoint in Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai. Hours later, three security personal were killed when militants opened fire at a checkpoint in nearby Al-Arish.

The president declared a three-months state of emergency in parts of North Sinai on Friday evening.

Addressing his remarks to the nation, El-Sisi said that it is important that the Egyptian people know that foreign forces aim to defeat the will of the military and of all Egyptians.

"We must know that this terrorist attack was supported by foreign hands to defeat the military that has been protecting the Egyptian people and their will," he said.

He also stressed that he knew that all these attacks would take place "even before 3 July 2013," in reference to the date of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

"We had a choice - either the people or the army had to confront terror. We chose that the army carry out the mission," said El-Sisi.

The former military chief said that his country is undergoing an "existential war" and stressed that the real danger lies in the foreign hands that wants to intervene between the armed forces and Egyptians.

"Reforming the new Egypt will necessitate a  lot of blood, work and effort, so we all have to work closely hand-in-hand," El-Sisi said, adding that soldiers and civilians died and that there will be more and more people dying.

El-Sisi also said that Egyptians must realise "how broad the conspiracy against us is."  

The former military chief, who was elected president this summer, said that recent work in different fields had been very fruitful at combating terrorism in Sinai.

El-Sisi said that if it hadn't been for the army's intervention in Sinai, the restive peninsula would have been a "cluster" of terrorism and extremism.

"I have noted before that the war in Sinai will last for a long time, as there are a lot of terrorists hiding in the peninsula, but this new level of attacks has put us in a new level of planning too in order to combat the terrorism there," stated El-Sisi.  

"There are attempts to drive a wedge between the people and the army. No-one will be able to divide the Egyptian people and its army."

The president said despite the recent attacks "much has already been done to combat terrorism."

El-Sisi said that the government "was ready to take action to solve the problem on the Egypt-Gaza border at the roots."

He ended his speech by assuring Egyptians that the armed and police forces will work to combat the terrorism and by extending his condolences to all Egyptians for the great loss.

Over 40 security personnel have been killed in attacks in the Sinai Peninsula this week, including the two attacks on Friday. 

A militant insurgency by jihadist groups in the peninsula has become more active since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Hundreds of police and soldiers, as well as militants, have been killed.

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George Amir
25-10-2014 09:06pm
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No military solution for a political problem
The Sissi regime is burying its head in the sand. This regime has killed thousands of Egyptians, arrested tens of thousands without charge or trial. The violence is only a boomerang effect, and will continue. This is not the 1950s. We are talking about millions of Egyptians and others who are determined to crush the regime as it crushed a democratically elected polity. Sissi has two choices: either he reconciles with the MB, or Egypt will become a failed state. and time is running out.
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ayman
25-10-2014 06:38pm
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Just say it
"foreign hands lie behind Friday's attacks". Which hands? Gather evidence and present it to the public. It is essential and it is the public's right to know exactly who is killing them. Otherwise, this govt. is accused of aiding supporters of the killers get away with it. If Hamas, Qatar or Turkey are behind this, cut all diplomatic ties and drag them through the mud. That can be accomplished in more than one way and they brought it upon themselves.
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ayman
25-10-2014 05:58pm
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Condolences
Need to learn from past attacks and improve our defense and tactics. More importantly find out and stop who is funding and training them.
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Allen
25-10-2014 05:02pm
14-
54+
If anyone can track these terrorists it's President Sisi.
End result, I am sure the brotherhood will pay a heavy toll by being tolerated even less, as the enemy of Egypt and civilized society at large. Good wishes to Egypt and it's military in defeating terror.
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George Midhat, Cairo
25-10-2014 09:43pm
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The Egyptian army will topple the traitor
the MB will make a comeback very soon as Sissi and his gang are ruining Egypt . Soon the Egyptian army will eliminate the thug.
Khaled Egypt
25-10-2014 05:42pm
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coward mouse
The coward so afraid even cant take the anme of the killers/terrorist.We know you can kill innocent civillians and MB supporters to whom you can't fight politically.Gen miserably faileda at both fronts and put the Egypt at te path of Afghanistan Iraq & somalia..
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