Thousands mourn soldiers killed in Sinai attacks

Ahram Online , Friday 30 Jan 2015

A screenshot from a television broadcast of the funeral of a soldier in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya

Thousands of mourners attended the funerals of a number of Egyptian soldiers who were killed in coordinated militant attacks in Sinai on Thursday.

Egyptian television stations showed thousands of people marching in funeral processions in the Nile Delta governorates of Gharbiya and Kafr El-Sheikh, and in the canal city of Suez. Local media reported similar turnout in other governorates across Egypt.

The crowd in Gharbiya chanted: “The people want an iron fist” and demanded “the execution of the Muslim Brotherhood”.

In Suez, thousands led by the governor and the chief of staff of the third field army marched in the home village of Captain Mohamed Adel Khater, who was among those killed during the militant attack.

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for Thursday's attacks which killed at least 30 people, mostly soldiers.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi linked the violence to the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that the deaths were a "price Egyptians were paying" for their ouster of the group's leader from the presidency in 2013. The group however has denied any link with militant attacks and on Friday called on the Egyptian army to "return to their barracks" in order to prevent bloodshed in Sinai.

Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and Minster of Defence Sedky Sobhi received the bodies of the victims at a military airport in Cairo after they were flown from Arish in caskets draped in the Egyptian flag. 

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