Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Sorrow, Rage Hit Egypt post Oasis Terror Attack

Sorrow, Rage Hit Egypt post Oasis Terror Attack

Sunday, 22 October, 2017 - 08:00
People carry the coffin of Egyptian police captain Ahmed Fayez, EPA

A state of anger and grief arose among masses of Egyptians after the terror attack striking Egyptian security forces on Friday killed at least 16 police officers in clashes with ultra-hardline fighters in the Bahariya oasis in the country’s western desert on Friday.

Home provinces of the fallen security officials mourned their victims of the police.

The ministry said that 11 police officers, four conscripts and one sergeant were killed in the shootout, and a search is underway for one missing police officer. Four police officers and nine conscripts were also injured.

Brigadier Khalid Okasha, member of the National Council for Combating Terrorism and Extremism, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the clashes with armed terrorists were ongoing.

"There is a determination by national forces to reach and eliminate all other terrorist elements," said Brig. Okasha.

Brig. Okasha also told Asharq Al-Awsat that Egypt is at war with terrorism and that authorities are saving no effort when it comes to achieving success against ultra-hardline terror rings, and that they have already taken down a number of terrorist cells.

He reiterated that "salvation from terrorism in Egypt is linked to the regional situation— if regional terrorism receded, it would do so in Egypt subsequently."

According to the Ministry of Interior, the confrontation began when a police force went to the Oasis area in Giza governorate in search of terrorists.

The ministry also said that 15 terrorists were killed or injured in the attack.

The ministry added that "media outlets should rely on official sources only for information on the incident."

Shortly after the attack, authorities released a statement on Saturday saying that “a number of policemen” were killed after terrorists opened fire on security forces as they attempted to conduct a raid on a terrorist hideout in Egypt’s Western Desert, about 135 kilometers southwest of Giza.

The hours-long shootout took place when an initial security force attempted to raid the hideout, leading to an exchange of fire initiated by the terrorists, who were armed with “heavy weapons,” according to the statement.

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