Mohamed Farid, Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces, said on Sunday that the army has taken more stringent measures to protect the western borders of the country, after increasing security risks from militants infiltrating through the Libyan territories.
Farid was appointed in his post at the end of October, succeeding Mahmoud Hijazi. His appointment came within the framework of reshuffle in top security posts, in the wake of the terrorist attack in Al-Wahat area in the Western Desert, in which 16 Egyptian policemen were killed and others wounded in clashes with gunmen.
In his first public appearance after his appointment, the new Chief of Staff inspected a number of border security points within the western military zone, to check on the living and administrative conditions of the forces, monitor the security situation, and follow up on the implementation of new security procedures in the area.
A statement issued by the Egyptian Army said that the chief of staff met with officers, sergeants and soldiers from the western region and praised their efforts in facing criminals, smuggling gangs and infiltrators across the borders.
According to the statement, Farid called for full vigilance and readiness during the implementation of the tasks and duties to secure the borders, stressing that further measures would be taken to protect the state borders, in cooperation between all the main branches of the armed forces.
In the past three years alone, the uninhabited Western Desert, which represents two thirds of Egypt’s size, has witnessed no less than eight major terrorist attacks that have left more than 60 soldiers and officers and dozens of citizens dead.