Egypt Police Neutralize Terrorist Cell in Cairo Suburb

Egyptian police cadets take part in a training session at a police academy in the capital Cairo on December 30, 2019. (Mohamed El-Shahed/ AFP)
Egyptian police cadets take part in a training session at a police academy in the capital Cairo on December 30, 2019. (Mohamed El-Shahed/ AFP)
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Egypt Police Neutralize Terrorist Cell in Cairo Suburb

Egyptian police cadets take part in a training session at a police academy in the capital Cairo on December 30, 2019. (Mohamed El-Shahed/ AFP)
Egyptian police cadets take part in a training session at a police academy in the capital Cairo on December 30, 2019. (Mohamed El-Shahed/ AFP)

While Egyptians on Tuesday were waiting in front of their TV screens for the daily COVID-19 report issued by the Health Ministry, they were surprised by news reporting a security attack on a terrorist cell in Al Amiriya neighborhood, east of Cairo.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said its security forces killed seven suspected militants in a shootout eastern Cairo following intelligence provided by the country’s security agency.

It said clashes erupted as the forces raided a 10-story apartment in the neighborhood, where members of the cell were hiding.

The ministry, which oversees police, said the forces seized weapons and ammunition in the raid, including six machine guns and four birdshot rifles.

During the raid, Lieutenant officer Mohammed Fawzy Al Hofi and seven terrorists were killed while three others were wounded.

The cell was reportedly planning attacks on the country´s Coptic Christians during the Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Egypt´s Coptic Orthodox Christians, one the world´s oldest Christian communities, would celebrate Easter on April 19.

Local television channels showed images of the gun battle between Egyptian counter-terrorism forces and the terrorist elements while security officers were appealing to people, through speakers, to stay away from the area.

Egyptian security forces have been battling a long-running insurgency mainly in the Sinai Peninsula, northeast Egypt, spearheaded by a local affiliate of the ISIS group.

Authorities launched a nationwide operation against militants in February 2018.

Tuesday’s raid came while Egyptian authorities are busy fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

Former Assistant to the Minister of Interior Farouk al-Makrahy said: “the cell was planning to commit its terrorist operation during the nightly curfew, taking advantage of the states’ preoccupation with fighting the coronavirus.”



White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
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White House: Qatar and Egypt Plan Talks with Hamas on Gaza Ceasefire

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that mediators for Qatar and Egypt plan to engage Hamas militants soon to see if there is a way to push ahead with a Gaza ceasefire proposal offered by US President Joe Biden.

Sullivan spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a Ukraine peace summit and was asked about diplomatic efforts to get an agreement for Hamas to release some hostages held since Oct. 7 in exchange for a ceasefire lasting at least six weeks.

Sullivan said he had spoken briefly to one of the main interlocutors, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and that they would speak again about Gaza on Sunday while both are in Switzerland for the Ukraine conference, Reuters reported.

Hamas has welcomed the ceasefire proposal, but insists any agreement must secure an end to the war, a demand Israel still rejects. Israel described Hamas's response to the new US peace proposal as total rejection.

Sullivan said that US officials have taken a close look at Hamas's response.

"We think some of the edits are not unexpected and can be managed. Some of them are inconsistent both with what President Biden laid out and what the UN Security Council endorsed. And we are having to deal with that reality," he said.

He said US officials believe there remains an avenue to an agreement and that the next step will be for Qatari and Egyptian mediators to talk to Hamas and "go through what can be worked with and what really can’t be worked with."

"We anticipate a back-and-forth between the mediators and Hamas. We’ll see where we stand at that point. We will keep consulting with the Israelis and then hopefully at some point next week we’ll be able to report to you where we think things stand and what we see as being the next step to try to bring this to closure," he said.