Drive-by shoot­ing kills 4 Egyp­tian po­lice­men

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

CAIRO: A drive-by shoot­ing killed four Egyp­tian po­lice near a famed his­toric site on the out­skirts of Cairo yes­ter­day and a mil­i­tary he­li­copter crashed due to a “sud­den tech­ni­cal fail­ure” north­east of the cap­i­tal, of­fi­cials said. Masked gun­men on a mo­tor­cy­cle opened fire on a se­cu­rity check­point near Saqqara, said po­lice Maj Gen Khaled Sha­l­aby. The tourist site is home to the 4,600-year-old Step Pyra­mid. No one im­me­di­ately claimed the at­tack.

The he­li­copter was on a re­con­nais­sance mis­sion north­east of Cairo in the Ismailia prov­ince, the mil­i­tary said in a state­ment. It said crew mem­bers were in­jured, with­out spec­i­fy­ing the num­ber hurt or the sever­ity. Egypt has been bat­tling a grow­ing in­sur­gency in the north­ern Si­nai Penin­sula led by a lo­cal Is­lamic State af­fil­i­ate, which has mainly tar­geted sol­diers and po­lice there, but has also claimed at­tacks else­where in Egypt.

The mil­i­tant group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the crash of a Rus­sian pas­sen­ger plane in Si­nai last month, say­ing it smug­gled a bomb on board the air­liner. Rus­sia said the plane was downed by a bomb and sus­pended flights to Egypt. Egypt has not com­mented on the cause of the crash, say­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still un­der­way.

Pres­i­dent Ab­del-Fat­tah Al-Sisi mean­while in­au­gu­rated the con­struc­tion of an­other side chan­nel for the Suez Canal, the lat­est step in a multi-year ef­fort to ex­pand the cru­cial wa­ter­way and pro­mote in­vest­ment. The mil­i­tant at­tacks spiked af­ter Sisi led the 2013 mil­i­tary over­throw of Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Morsi and launched a sweep­ing crack­down on his Is­lamist supporters. The gov­ern­ment has strug­gled to com­bat the Si­nai-based in­sur­gency while try­ing to jump-start the econ­omy af­ter years of un­rest. — AP

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