Turkey, US denounce Sinai attack

Turkey and US condemned attacks at Egyptian military units in northern Sinai

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkey and the US condemned deadly attacks at Egyptian military forces located in northern Sinai on Wednesday.

Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement denouncing the attacks in Egypt’s northern Sinai and offered condolences to the victims and their families.

"We are deeply sorry that a large number of people died. May Allah rest the souls of the victims and we offer condolences to their families. We wish the wounded people a quick recovery as well," the statement read.

The US also denounced the attacks.

"The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attacks against Egyptian security forces in North Sinai this morning, which killed dozens of Egyptian personnel and injured many others," said National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and the government and people of Egypt, and wish for a speedy recovery for those who were injured."

He further added that the US will stand beside Egypt "amidst the spate of terrorist attacks that have afflicted the country."

At least 70 Egyptian soldiers were killed and dozens injured, as militants belonging to Ansar Beit al Maqdis went on an offensive rampage on several military checkpoints in Sheikh Zuwaid in Egypt’s North Sinai. According to Al-Ahram, five military checkpoints were attacked by heavily armed militants.

Sinai Now TV chief Mostafa Singer described the town of Sheikh Zuwaid on his facebook page saying, “Militants stormed the town forcing locals to stay home in fear for their lives, Egyptian army F16s and Apaches tower over the city which suffers lack of ambulance cars and healthcare, locals say the air smells like gunpowder, and the air is unclear because of the frequent explosions’ smoke.”

Sources on the ground told Al-Qahera Al-Youm that the number of casualties can significantly increase, as dozens more soldiers were abducted from the scene.

Army soldiers also reportedly killed around 22 militants from the Ansar Beit al Maqdis group, according to the Egyptian army spokesperson.

The militants declared allegiance to ISIS last year. Ansar Beit al Maqdis have previously called for attacks on the army, police and judicial officials.

The attack comes only two days after the country’s top prosecutor, Hesham Barakat, was killed in a car bombing in Cairo on Monday.

A similar attack took place on May 16, when a car carrying three young judges was riddled with bullets, killing them all.

Egypt is currently battling an armed insurgency in Sinai which has seen hundreds of police and army officials killed since the country’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi was deposed in a military coup in July 2013.

Morsi was forced to step down after a brutal military coup and crackdown on his supporters, including the bloody dispersal of camp sit-ins in Cairo’s Rabia and Nahda Squares, which saw around 900 Muslim Brotherhood supporters killed.

TRTWorld and agencies