Ambassador of the European Union in Cairo Ivan Surkoš (Photo: EU official website)
The EU’s ambassador to Egypt, Ivan Surkoš, expressed his condolences after a terror attack that targeted a security checkpoint in the city of Arish in North Sinai on Wednesday.
In a statement on Thursday posted on his Twitter account, the diplomat his “profound condolences to the families of Egyptians killed by terrorists,” describing the attack as ”outrageous disrespect” of Eid Al-Fitr.
Eight Egyptian policemen were killed in an attack against a security checkpoint south of the capital city of North Sinai governorate on Wednesday morning, the first day of the Muslim holiday.
Five terrorists were killed in the shootout between the policemen and the attackers while the rest fled the scene, said the Egyptian Ministry of Interior in its statement on the attack.
Later on Wednesday, Egypt’s security forces killed 14 terrorist elements in pursuit of those involved in the attack, the ministry announced.
According to a ministry statement, security forces managed to locate the preparators in an abandoned house they used as a hideout in a remote area in Arish city.
Five terrorist elements were killed in the shootout between the policemen and the attackers while the rest fled the scene.
The Islamic State terrorist organisation's affiliated group in North Sinai claimed responsibility in an online statement on Thursday, claiming that 10 policemen were killed in two attacks: one at a checkpoint south of Arish and another at a checkpoint in a "nearby area."
Hundreds of Egyptian police officers and soldiers have been killed in terrorist attacks in the last five years in North Sinai.
In February 2018, the military launched a nationwide offensive against the Islamist terrorists, focused mainly on northern part of the Sinai peninsula.
According to official figures, around 650 terrorists have been killed since the start of the operation, while the army has lost some 50 soldiers