7 Killed in Militant Attack in Egypt’s North Sinai

Seven people were killed on Monday in a militant attack in North Sinai, Egypt. (AFP)
Seven people were killed on Monday in a militant attack in North Sinai, Egypt. (AFP)
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7 Killed in Militant Attack in Egypt’s North Sinai

Seven people were killed on Monday in a militant attack in North Sinai, Egypt. (AFP)
Seven people were killed on Monday in a militant attack in North Sinai, Egypt. (AFP)

Seven people were killed on Monday when militants robbed a bank and engaged in a shootout with security forces in northern Sinai in Egypt, security sources said.

Four policemen were killed in the attack when five SUVs, each carrying four gunmen, fired at security forces nearby the unused Saint George Church before robbing a branch of National Bank of Egypt, in al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai.

Three civilians were also killed in the assault, officials said.

“They looted the entire bank and left explosive devices inside," a senior security official said.

“The militants fired shots randomly in the street as if they were celebrating with some of them raising their black flags (of ISIS) and they roamed the streets for about 20 minutes then disappeared,” said Alaa Lotfy, a shop owner in the area who witnessed the clashes.

Fifteen people were injured in the attack, officials added.

A bank employee appeared to have been kidnapped in Monday's attack, they revealed.

Security forces cordoned off the city center and evacuated residents living in the bank building.

Pictures posted on social media by locals from al-Arish showed school girls fleeing a school located in the vicinity of the bank and the church.

Services at the church were suspended months ago, following a wave of attacks on Christians in Sinai.

At least 24 militants and six soldiers were killed on Sunday in attacks on military outposts in North Sinai. The attacks were claimed by the ISIS affiliate in Sinai.

On Thursday, six other policemen were also killed in an attack by the terrorists in al-Arish.



Egypt Needs to Import $1.18 Billion in Fuel to End Power Cuts, PM Says

The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
TT

Egypt Needs to Import $1.18 Billion in Fuel to End Power Cuts, PM Says

The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)

Egypt needs to import around $1.18 billion worth of mazut fuel oil and natural gas to end persistent power cuts exacerbated by consecutive heat waves, its Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised address on Tuesday.

It hopes the shipments will arrive in full around the third week of July, by which point the government aims to stop cutting power during the remaining summer months, he added.

It has already started contracting for 300,000 tons of mazut worth $180 million to boost its strategic reserves which are expected to arrive early next week.

Egypt's government on Monday extended daily power cuts to three hours from two hours previously in response to a surge in domestic electricity consumption during the latest heat wave.

These three-hour cuts will continue until the end of June, before returning to two hours in the first half of July with the aim of stopping completely for the rest of the summer, Madbouly said on Tuesday.

Egyptian social media has lit up with complaints about the impact of the blackouts, with some saying they have been forced to purchase private power generators.

The problem has particularly affected teenagers preparing for the crucial high school certificate, with some posting about students studying by candlelight and others in coffee shops.

A wedding hall owner in the coastal city of Port Said said he would turn one of his ballrooms into a study hall.

Since July last year, load shedding linked to falling gas production, rising demand and a shortage of foreign currency has led to scheduled two-hour daily power cuts in most areas.

"We had said that we planned to end load shedding by the end of 2024... we do not have a power generation problem or a network problem, we are unable to provide fuel," Madbouly said on Tuesday.

"With the increase in consumption related to the major development and population increase, there has been a lot of pressure on our dollar resources," he added.

He said production in a neighboring country's gas field had come to a full halt for 12 hours leading to an interruption in the supply, without naming the country or the gas field.

Egypt's Abu Qir Fertilizers said on Tuesday three of its plants had halted production because their supply of natural gas was cut.