Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi following a National Defence Council meeting (Photo Courtesy of Egypt's Presidency)
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi hailed on Saturday the armed forces for their efforts in foiling several terrorist attacks targeting military locations.
El-Sisi stressed in a statement the necessity of continued measures to preserve the security of Egypt, as well as the importance of maintaining a high level of training and readiness.
The statement by the president came shortly after a meeting of the National Defence Council, which was attended by the defence minister, the army chief of staff, and the heads of the navy and air force.
The meeting included a presentation of security measures undertaken by the military, especially in North Sinai, where El-Sisi was briefed on steps taken by the armed forces to “purge Sinai of terrorist elements”.
Over the past week, Egypt’s army thwarted two major attacks by militants targeting forces in North Sinai and Alexandria.
On Monday, an attack that could have killed 50-60 soldiers, according to the army spokesman, was foiled after a car laden with explosives was run over by an army tank before it could reach its target; an army checkpoint south of El-Arish in North Sinai.
The car exploded shortly after being run over, killing seven civilians.
On Thursday, army forces opened fire on a 4x4 vehicle loaded with over 1.5 tonnes of "highly explosive material" that was attempting to attack a military unit in the Northern Military Zone, located in Alexandria governorate.
The car's driver, who was wearing an explosive belt, was killed.
Egypt is battling an Islamist insurgency based in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, though militants have carried out attack in other parts of the country.