Egypt leader’s ‘brutal’ riposte to Sinai killing
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.