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Egypt's army arrests suspect in helicopter rocket attack

Egyptian army says it arrested two militants, including the one who shot down a military helicopter in Sinai last month

Ahram Online , Friday 14 Feb 2014
An observation tower painted in the colours of the Egyptian national flag is seen near the Nitzana crossing, along Israel's border with Egypt's Sinai desert August 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 1864

Egyptian troops have arrested two suspected militants in Sinai, one of whom was involved in a deadly rocket attack on a military helicopter last month.

The Egyptian army said that two "extremely dangerous" militants were arrested Thursday while in hiding in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, where Egypt's army is waging a campaign to quell months of militant violence directed at security forces.

One of the men was involved in the downing of an Egyptian military helicopter in the peninsula in January, army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali said in a statement. Both men were injured in a gun battle with army forces during the arrest.

Militant fighters shot a surface-to air missile at the helicopter, causing it to plummet and killing the five crewmembers aboard - an attack which raised alarm about that use of sophisticated weaponry by insurgents in Sinai.

An Al-Qaeda-inspired group, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks against police and army since the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, said that it was responsible for the downing of the helicopter. The group has also said that it was behind a number of deadly bombings in Cairo last month.

Militant violence, on the rise since Morsi's ouster, has killed scores of soldiers and policemen in the border volatile region, but has recently spilled over into the capital Cairo and other parts of the country.

Air and ground offensives by Egyptian troops have killed dozens of militants this month. Dozens others were arrested and several militant hideouts and arms caches were destroyed.

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14-02-2014 08:04pm
whats the point????
well dont understand,what surprise it should be,that in a country with an open border to a djihadist dominated neighbor country like lybia,with a past government of a hardcore islamist ruling(which was desposed by force) the roundly 70% of followers of the ikhwan of the population are getting their deeds from across the open border and use it? sure,the ikhwan will never directly be involved,but as motherorganisation of EVERY extremist organisation of djihadist/extremist and hatred islamic group,they always exactly know,what is happening and what goes arround in town/country... i am surprised(not really,if you take political targets in view)that not more is happening,but it will,as the sister organisations of this cancer are just waiting for the call
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14-02-2014 04:45pm
Never believe a word you read
Only a month ago, the military was denying that the helicopter was shot down, instead claiming it was an accident. Their stories change so often, you truly can not keep up with them.
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14-02-2014 09:11pm
Never believe a word from fifth columnists and secret hood terrorists
The signs of the army success are everywhere. Remember the some 15 murderous attacks daily six months ago ? Gone now. The risks for the terrorists have become too great, and this is why that the odd road explosives are discovered before the explosion. They don't dare anymore to trigger the fuse by observing up close the coming target. The odd targets are becoming softer and softer (pipeline in the desert for example) as well as rarer and rarer. The terror groups have been penetrated and many top leaders killed, and many coakroaches squashed. The bedouin population is assidting more and more the soldiers and helping in the squashing. The latest army initiative to collect the weapons from the population on a voluntary basis has been a great success. The israelis themselves are stating their great respect for the tactics of our soldiers and for their successes. As for the confusion when the news of the helicopter appeared, all competent armies make boiler plate announcements as long as

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