Egypt leader’s ‘bru­tal’ ri­poste to Si­nai killing

The Daily Telegraph - - World news - By Sara Wil­liams in Am­man

AB­DEL FATTAH AL-SISI, the pres­i­dent of Egypt, has or­dered his mil­i­tary to use “all brute force nec­es­sary” to se­cure the Si­nai penin­sula within the next three months days af­ter the dead­li­est bomb­ing in the coun­try’s his­tory.

The order was is­sued to Ma­jor Gen­eral Mo­hammed Farid Hegazy, Mr Sisi’s new chief of staff, af­ter more than 300 peo­ple were killed when mil­i­tants at­tacked a Sufi mosque in the Si­nai.

Mr Sisi’s order for “se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity” to be re­stored comes at a time when ex­trem­ists – par­tic­u­larly, the Si­nai chap­ter of Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant (Isil) – have be­come bolder in their at­tacks and the num­ber of dead has risen.

Egyp­tian forces have fought to sup­press Isil’s Si­nai fac­tion since its in­cep­tion in 2014. Con­flict has been fo­cused in the north­ern Si­nai, one of Isil’s last hold­outs af­ter de­feats in Iraq and Syria.

But in the past year, the group has car­ried out atroc­i­ties across a broader area, tar­get­ing Cop­tic Chris­tian churches and, last Fri­day, the Sufi mosque.

The re­gion has been left reel­ing, with many crit­i­cis­ing Mr Sisi for fail­ing to keep his own cit­i­zens se­cure and al­low­ing a mil­i­tant group to spread un­der his watch.

Mr Sisi is ex­pected to run for re-elec­tion in the 2018 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. Yes­ter­day, Ahmed Shafiq, the for­mer prime min­is­ter, said he planned to take him on.

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