Army says stepped-up enforcement putting pressure on “outlaws”
By Ahmed Mansour
Six military border guards, including one officer, were killed Saturday morning while patrolling the mountainous western region of Al-What, a military spokesman announced via his official Facebook page. No terrorist group has officially claimed the attack, and the spokesman alleged the killers were smugglers and “outlaws.”
The military statement said that these soldiers were attacked in response to the border guard’s success in thwarting plans to smuggle large amounts of weapons, ammunition, and narcotic substances into Egypt. Border guards have also reportedly prevented 936 civilians from illegally immigrating.
“For the past two months, the border guards were doing a great job cleansing the area from terrorists and all those who wish harm to the country. Because of this incident the Military are doubling the guards and armored trucks in that area. We assure the people that we are taking extreme measures to assure the safety of our soldiers and civilians.” said retired Army General Mohamed Saeed Gamalto Egypt Today.
Attacks on the security forces and security buildings have increased dramatically ever since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi last July. Over 500 members of the security forces have been killed since the ouster. Initially, the attacks were focused on security forces located in Sinai, but recently they have been occurring in all parts of the country. The Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdes has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, and in April a Cairo court formally designated it a terrorist organization. The US State Department also added the group to its list of foreign terrorist organizations in April.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb stated on Sunday that “These attacks will not stop the government from purging the country from those terrorist cells that threaten our national peace and economy.”
Some activists feel the incident is a sign the military is distracted from its original mission. “That is what happens when the military gets involved in politics and neglects its real duty, which is guarding our borders from international threats. The government and the military should take actions to reinforce the security at our borders to avoid such incidents in the future” said Karim Al-Naggar, political activist and human rights lawyer to Egypt Today. et