Egypt appoints new commander for Third Army

Ahram Online , Sunday 1 Feb 2015

General Mohamed Abdulla will replace Lieutenant-General Osama Askar, who is now tasked with leading a unified military command to fight terrorism in Sinai

Sedky Sobhi
Egypt's Defence Minister Sedky Sobhi (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Defence Minister Sedky Sobhi has appointed Sunday General Mohamed Abdella as a new commander of the Third Army, replacing Lieutenant-General Osama Askar who was tasked by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces with leading a new unified military command east of the Suez Canal.

The unified command will guide counter-terrorism activities of the Second and Third armies in the Sinai peninsula.

The Second Army oversees North Sinai and some Delta governorates.

The Third Army oversees army operations in South Sinai and Suez.

The creation of the new command comes following a deadly militant attack Thursday on security and army positions in the restive North Sinai governorate that left at least 30 dead, including army personnel and civilians.

The Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The group recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a militant group that controls large swathes in Syria and Iraq.

Egypt's army has been combating a decade-long militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula that has spiked in the last year and half.

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