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Egypt's SIS requests Reuters, BBC publish names of Wahat terrorism victims

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Oct 2017
Egypt Security Forces in western desert
Egyptian security forces' vehicles and armored personnel carriers (APCs) park on the desert road towards the Bahariya oasis in Egypt's Western desert, near the site of Friday's attack (Photo:AFP)

Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) demanded in a follow-up statement on Tuesday that Reuters and the BBC network publish the names of the victims of the Wahat terrorist incident, which occurred in Egypt's Western Desert on Friday, in a renewed challenge to those agencies' claims about the incident's death toll.

The demands come after a week of SIS criticism of both organisations' coverage of the shootout, especially pertaining to the number of deaths they reported.

According to a statement issued on Saturday by Egypt's interior ministry, the terrorism incident resulted in the deaths of 16 policemen and the injury of 13 others.

Both the BBC and Reuters reported that terrorists' victims exceeded 50, which contradicts official reports.

In Tuesday's follow-up to its previous statement, the SIS' affirmed it "is seeking a full commitment to accurate media coverage."

SIS Chairman Diaa Rashwan also sent a letter to each of the organisations’ bureau chiefs in Cairo.

The letters reiterated the SIS' demands put forth in the statements and called upon the media organizations to retract their published reports and to issue an apology, or to prove their claims, which the SIS insists are "inaccurate."

In the letter, the SIS assured the bureau chiefs that Egyptian laws require that media outlets be able to confirm the accuracy of their claims.

The SIS concluded the letter by affirming its commitment to ensuring the highest levels of press freedom and the availability of timely information to all Egyptian and foreign media outlets operating in the country.

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