Sabtu , 25 November 2017, 10:18 WIB

Egypt's airstrikes kill terrorists involved in mosque attack

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
Stringer/EPA-EFE
Bloodied victims and bodies covered in blankets inside the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El Arish, the main city in North Sinai.
Bloodied victims and bodies covered in blankets inside the Al Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed, west of El Arish, the main city in North Sinai.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, CAIRO -- The Egyptian airstrikes hit a number of vehicles of terrorists involved in the deadly attack on a mosque in North Sinai province, killing all therein, said the Egyptian military spokesman in a statement on Friday midnight.

"In addition, the air forces targeted a number of hideouts containing weapons and ammunition that belong to the extremists," said military spokesman Tamer al-Refaay in the statement.

The military raids came several hours after a terrorist attack on Friday noon against a mosque at a small village in North Sinai that killed at least 235 worshippers and wounded over 100 others. It is the first terrorist operation to target a Muslim mosque in Egypt's modern history.

The deadly terrorist attack against a mosque in Egypt's North Sinai Province on Friday indicates the randomness, confusion and weakness of terrorists in Egypt who started to target fellow Muslims for the first time in the country's modern history, said Egyptian political and security experts.

Diaa Rashwan, head of Egypt's State Information Service and chief of Cairo-based Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said in a statement that the attack, despite its bloodiness and unprecedented extremism, reflects "the beginning of weakening" of the affiliates of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) regional terrorist group which started to use "soft targets" due to their failure in the face of security confrontations.

Terror attacks started to rise in Egypt following the military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Since then, most of the attacks focused on restive North Sinai and killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers, before they later started to extend to other provinces and target the Coptic minority in their churches.

Now they started to target the Muslim worshipers at mosques for the first time, which is an unprecedented development in terrorist tactics in the country.

Fingers are pointed at a Sinai-based group loyal to the ISIS, which has claimed most of the large terrorist operations in Egypt over the past few years and whose affiliates are currently facing massive security crackdown in Syria and Iraq.

Over the past few years, the Egyptian military in cooperation with the police killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested a similar number of suspects as part of the country's anti-terror war declared by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief then, following Morsi's ouster.

President Sisi said in a televised speech Friday evening that "this mean, sinful terrorist attack will only increase our strength, resolution and unity in our fight against terrorism," vowing "we will respond fiercely against this minor group of extremists and terrorists."

The Egyptian president received phone calls on Friday from U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and others who offered their condolences over the tragic attack and voiced their support for the North African country in its war against terrorism. The attack was also condemned by many leaders and foreign ministries across the world as well as regional and international organizations.

Sumber : Antara

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