Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Wednesday that a security raid killed all militants involved in recent deadly anti-police attack except for a foreign fighter who was captured alive and currently being interrogated.
The terrorist cell that carried out the recent operation was all liquidated except for one foreign fighter who was captured alive and whose nationality will soon be announced, Sisi told a group of Egyptian and foreign reporters at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the sidelines of the ongoing week-long World Youth Forum.
Sisi was referring to the recent two-day confrontations between security forces and terrorists that started on Oct. 20 and left 16 policemen dead and 13 wounded in the western desert region near Al-Wahat highway on the outskirts of Giza, south of Cairo.
Later military air raids on a nearby site, a mountainous area in western Fayoum province south of Cairo, killed a large number of the terrorists involved in the anti-police attack. Sisi revealed Wednesday that only one of them was caught alive and was not Egyptian.
“This will be announced in the media and the militant is the only one alive from the 14 terrorists,” said the Egyptian president.
Egypt has been suffering a wave of bloody insurgency that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.
Terror attacks have been centered in restive North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, before spreading nationwide and targeting the Coptic minority as well. Most of the terrorist operations have been claimed by a Sinai-based group affiliated with the regional Islamic State (IS) militant group.
The Egyptian military and police have killed hundreds of militants and arrested a similar number of suspects as part of the country’s anti-terror war declared by President Sisi, the army chief then, following Morsi’s removal.
“A great effort is being made to secure our borders alongside 1200 km with the help of the air forces,” said Sisi, noting that the security situation in Sinai is in constant progress.
With regards to Egypt’s massive arm deals with some European states, particularly France and Germany, the Egyptian president said they are meant to make up for the current strategic imbalance in the Arab region amid conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen.
“They are also meant to face the terrorist operations Egypt is going through, for Egypt is fighting terrorism on behalf of the world,” Sisi told reporters.