Posts Tagged ‘Jihadists’

Trump to meet families of Americans killed in Syria

January 19, 2019

US President Donald Trump made a surprise announcement Saturday he would be traveling to meet the families of four US personnel killed in northern Syria.

He tweeted: “Will be leaving for Dover to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!”

Dover refers to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

US President Donald Trump announced last month a full troop withdrawal from Syria

US President Donald Trump announced last month a full troop withdrawal from Syria AFP/File

Nineteen people including the four Americans were killed in a suicide bombing on a small restaurant in the flashpoint northern Syrian town of Manbij on Wednesday.

The attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, was the deadliest to hit US troops since they deployed to Syria in 2014.

It came after Trump’s shock announcement last month that he was ordering a full troop withdrawal from the country because the jihadists had been “largely defeated.”

Two US service members, one Department of Defense civilian and one contractor were among those killed in the Manbij attack.

After sweeping across swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, the jihadists’ cross-border “caliphate” has been erased by multiple offensives and is now confined to a tiny embattled enclave in eastern Syria close to the Iraqi border.

But despite the stinging defeats, IS has proved it is still capable of carrying out deadly attacks using hideouts in the sprawling desert or sleeper cells in the towns.

AFP

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Burkina Faso PM and government resign — Will Nigeria be next?

January 19, 2019

Burkina Faso’s government and Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba stood down on Friday, according to a statement released by the country’s president.

No explanation was given for the resignations, though sources told AFP President Roch Marc Christian Kabore wants to breathe new life into the leadership of the landlocked west African country, which is battling a rising wave of jihadist attacks and hostage-taking.

Canadian Edith Blais, 34, and her Italian partner Luca Tacchetto, 30, have been missing since mid-December, and late Wednesday a Canadian geologist kidnapped by suspected jihadists was found dead at a remote gold mine in the northeast.

No explanation was given for the resignations of Burkina Faso's government and prime minister, though sources say President Roch Marc Christian Kabore (pictured November 2018) wants to breathe new life into the country's leadership

No explanation was given for the resignations of Burkina Faso’s government and prime minister, though sources say President Roch Marc Christian Kabore (pictured November 2018) wants to breathe new life into the country’s leadership AFP/File

“Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba submitted this afternoon his resignation as well as that of his government,” the statement said.

“The president of Faso accepted the resignation” and expressed “all his gratitude to Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba and all its ministers for their commitment to the service of the nation,” the statement added.

President Kabore chose experienced economist Thieba as prime minister in January 2016. However, in recent months several political opponents have been calling for his resignation and that of ministers in charge of security and defence.

Burkina Faso lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, which is struggling with a bloody Islamist insurgency.

The region turned into a hotbed of violent extremism and lawlessness after chaos engulfed Libya in 2011.

An Islamist insurgency began in northern Mali, while Boko Haram rose in northern Nigeria.

Jihadist raids began in northern Burkina Faso in 2015 before spreading to the east, near the border with Togo and Benin.

AFP

Nigerian troops retake Baga after Boko Haram attack — 30,000 non-combat people seek refuge

January 11, 2019

The UN has said more than 30,000 people had sought refuge in the garrison town of Monguno and the Borno state capital, Maidugur.

Nigerian troops were back in a strategic town on the shores of Lake Chad, military and civilian sources said today, after Boko Haram attacks forced tens of thousands to flee.

Fighters from the self-styled Islamic State West Africa Province overran a naval base and another housing troops from a regional force in and around Baga late last month.

The UN has said more than 30,000 people had since sought refuge in the garrison town of Monguno and the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, as the military prepared a fight-back.

Thousands of people have died since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009. On Tuesday, villagers at Sajeri, near the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, laid to rest one of three people killed in a jihadist attack. Picture: AFP/ Audu MARTE

Thousands of people have died since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009. On Tuesday, villagers at Sajeri, near the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, laid to rest one of three people killed in a jihadist attack. Picture: AFP/ Audu MARTE

A military officer in Maiduguri said: “Our soldiers entered Baga yesterday evening (Wednesday). They are in total control of the town and the terrorists had fled.

“They entered the town at about 7:00 pm after taking control of Kuros-Kauwa, which is 15 kilometres (nearly 10 miles) from the town,” he told AFP.

The development was confirmed by a resident, who like the officer asked not to be identified for security reasons.

“I left Baga at about 5:30 pm and I met a huge military convoy heading to the town from Kuros-Kauwa,” said the local man.

A man walks through a camp for internally displaced people in Rann, Nigeria. Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images

“They entered Baga unchallenged. Boko Haram fighters had not been staying the night in Baga since they learnt soldiers were preparing to launch a massive attack.”

Some buildings, including the homes of local politicians, chiefs and community leaders, were burnt down in Baga and neighbouring Doron Baga.

A hospital, clinic and schools were razed, as was the naval base in Fish Dam, he added.

Army spokesman Sani Usman said later in a statement Nigerian special forces had given ISWAP fighters who attacked Baga “a bloody nose” and “cleared” the area “without any resistance”.

Image result for Nigerian special forces, pictures

Nigerian special forces

Usman did not say the troops recaptured the town, only that they had “since linked up with other forces in Baga, where they cleared the naval base and the surrounding areas”.

One soldier was killed in the process, he said. Some jihadists were “neutralised” after an attempted attack on troops in Monguno, he added, without elaborating.

Nigeria Army

On Wednesday, jihadists attacked military positions near Bulabulin village in the Konduga area of Borno, and nearby Delwa but were pushed back, sources said.

Soldiers on Sunday raided the Daily Trust offices in Maiduguri, arresting two reporters and seizing equipment after it reported on pending operations to retake Baga.

Today, the army said Boko Haram fighters had told residents to leave their homes in villages near Maiduguri.

Boko Haram militants launched their insurgency in 2009

BokoHaram fighters

Civilian militia said earlier this week Boko Haram told people in Jakana and Mainok to flee as they were going to launch a major attack.

There was no indication they had done so but on Wednesday troops stepped up stop and search operations on the main road that passes through both locations.

Army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu described the latest threats as “psychological war” and urged residents to report suspicious activity.

https://citizen.co.za/news/news-africa/2061259/nigerian-troops-retake-baga-after-boko-haram-attack/

Pompeo vows US will fight Isis in Middle East despite Syria move

January 10, 2019

Secretary of state says Trump’s decisiion is not a ‘change of mission’

Heba Saleh in Cairo

Pompeo meets the Egyptian president ahead of his wide ranging speech on US Middle East policy in Cairo. (AFP)

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has reaffirmed the country’s commitment to fighting Isis in the Middle East, despite the administration’s December decision to pull out forces from Syria.

Speaking from Cairo, Mr Pompeo said the decision to withdraw was not a “change of mission” and that the US would continue to conduct air strikes against the group “as targets arise” and to “hunt down terrorists in Libya and Yemen.”

On broader US strategy in the Middle East, Mr Pompeo reserved his tougher words for Iran saying: “We must confront the Ayatollahs, not coddle them.”

Without naming the former US president, Mr Pompeo rebuked Barack Obama for his stance on Iran, “our common enemy,” and implementing policies which he says weakened the role of the US in the region.

Mr Pompeo is on a tour of the Middle East, making stops in Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. He plans to continue to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar.

https://www.ft.com/content/abebf836-14e4-11e9-a581-4ff78404524e

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AFP

Pompeo: US seeks to ‘expel every last Iranian boot’ in Syria

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Thursday the United States and its allies would chase all Iranian troops from Syria, and urged Middle East nations to forge a common stand against Tehran.

“It’s time for old rivalries to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region,” said Pompeo at a keynote address in Cairo.

America “will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria and bolster efforts “to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people,” he added.

The top US diplomat was in Egypt on the latest leg of a whistle-stop regional tour aimed at shoring up Washington’s Middle East policy following President Donald Trump’s shock decision to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria.

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Secretary Pompeo

@SecPompeo

I had a productive meeting with @AlsisiOfficial in Cairo today. The U.S. stands firmly with in its commitments to protecting and in the fight against terrorism that threatens all of our friends in the Middle East.

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Pompeo stressed the pullout would go ahead, despite comments in recent weeks appearing to walk back Trump’s decision, but that the US would remain engaged.

The “decision to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do that. We will withdraw our forces, our uniformed forces, from Syria and continue America’s crushing campaign,” Pompeo told reporters at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

He also met earlier with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, after arriving in Cairo late Wednesday on his longest trip since taking office last year which has already taken him to Jordan, Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

In his address entitled “A Force for Good: America Reinvigorated in the Middle East” at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo also took aim at former president Barack Obama without naming him.

Trump’s predecessor had “grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism,” Pompeo said.

And parroting Obama’s words in his landmark 2009 speech in Cairo, Pompeo vowed that now was really “a new beginning” in ties between the US and the Middle East.

Pompeo’s tour is aimed at urging regional allies to continue to confront the “significant threats” posed by Iran and extremists.

Even though Daesh have been largely eradicated from Iraq, after capturing a vast swathe of territory in 2014, some still control a few pockets in war-torn Syria.

Pompeo will also visit Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

As he arrived in Egypt, the State Department described the country as a “steadfast partner in the anti-terror fight, and a courageous voice in denouncing the radical Islamist ideology that fuels it.”

But there are rising concerns that US policy is getting bogged down. A long-promised Trump plan for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians has so far failed to materialise.

And many of the Trump administration’s decisions have stoked confusion and angered many regional allies.

Turkey and the United States are now at loggerheads over the future of Syrian Kurdish forces, considered by Ankara as “terrorists,” after the troop pullout.

Turkish officials had a tense meeting this week with Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton in Ankara aimed at coordinating the pullout process after Bolton set conditions that appeared to postpone it indefinitely.

The terms included total defeat of Daesh – still active in some Syrian regions – and ensuring that Kurdish fighters who fought alongside the Americans against the jihadists will be protected.

On Thursday, Turkey renewed its threat to launch an offensive against Kurds.

“If the (pullout) is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV television.

 

Two Americans among foreign captured by Syrian Kurds

January 7, 2019

The Kurdish-led force battling the remnants of the Islamic State group in eastern Syria said Monday it captured five foreign jihadists, including two US citizens.

The two Americans, two Pakistanis and an Irishman were part of a cell planning an attack on civilians fleeing the jihadist group’s last bastion, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said.

The SDF has spearheaded the battle against IS in eastern Syria and is close to flushing out the jihadists from their last pocket near the Iraqi border.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have spearheaded the battle against the Islamic State group in eastern Syria

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have spearheaded the battle against the Islamic State group in eastern Syria The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have spearheaded the battle against the Islamic State group in eastern Syria AFP/File

The force, which receives key support in the air and on the ground from the US military, said in a statement that the jihadists were captured on December 30.

The SDF said its forces detected “a group of terrorists who had been preparing to attack the civilians who were trying to get out of the war zone”.

The Syrian Democratic Forces has spearheaded the battle against Daesh in eastern Syria and is close to flushing out the militants from their last pocket near the Iraqi border. (AFP)

“An operation against the cell was carried out by our forces,” it said.

It published mugshots of the five foreign fighters and provided the following names:

– Warren Christopher Clark, USA

– Alexandr Ruzmatovich Bekmirzaev, Ireland

– Zaid Abed al-Hamid, USA

– Fadel al-Rahman, Pakistan

– Abed al-Azem Rajhoud, Pakistan

The Kurds in northeastern Syria say they hold around 1,000 foreign jihadist fighters, as well as 550 foreign women and 1,200 children who lived with them.

They are from dozens of different nationalities and include a significant contingent from France, the main US partner in the coalition assisting Kurdish forces.

The numbers of US jihadists held by the Kurds are believed to be small.

The fate of these foreign fighters and their families is a complex and sensitive issue.

Many countries are reluctant to bring them back home while Syria’s Kurds argue they do not have the capacity to keep them locked up much longer.

The SDF, backed by coalition air strikes, has achieved major gains since the launch four months ago of an offensive to root out IS from the last rump of the once-sprawling “caliphate” it proclaimed in 2014.

The jihadists are clinging to a handful of villages in the Euphrates River Valley.

The largest ones are Sousa and Bahgouz, following the capture on Saturday of Al-Shaafa, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights war monitor.

AFP

Egyptian president confirms Israel helping fight Sinai jihadists

January 4, 2019

Sissi says cooperation closer than ever in CBS interview Cairo has subsequently attempted to quash

This photo posted on a file sharing website on Jan. 11, 2017, by the Islamic State Group in Sinai shows an explosion during an attack on an Egyptian police checkpoint on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in el-Arish, north Sinai, Egypt. (Islamic State Group in Sinai/AP)

This photo posted on a file sharing website on Jan. 11, 2017, by the Islamic State Group in Sinai shows an explosion during an attack on an Egyptian police checkpoint on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in el-Arish, north Sinai, Egypt. (Islamic State Group in Sinai/AP)

Egypt’s president has confirmed that Israel is helping Egyptian troops battle jihadists in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told CBS News that cooperation between Cairo and Jerusalem was tighter than it had ever been, in comments published late Thursday.

“That is correct…We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis,” he told the US news outlet when asked if the military coordination between the countries was closer than it had ever been.

The comments came during an interview with the channel’s “60 Minutes” program that is slated to air Sunday evening. According to CBS, Sissi has demanded that the interview be pulped, apparently over questions about human rights abuses and the deaths of protesters, but the channel has insisted it will be shown nonetheless.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on t he sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27, 2018. (Avi Ohayon / PMO)

In February, The New York Times reported that Israel was covertly carrying out a full-blown aerial campaign against Islamic State targets in Sinai, with Sissi’s blessing. The Israeli aircraft are reportedly often unmarked and sometimes use indirect routes in a bid to cover up the origin of the strikes.

Israel and Egypt have never confirmed the existence of the campaign.

“Only the Egyptian army is authorized to and does conduct military operations in specific areas in northern Sinai, in cooperation with the civilian police,” Egyptian military spokesperson Tamer al-Rifa told Russia’s Sputnik news shortly after the New York Times report.

Illustrative: A picture taken on November 28, 2017, from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing following an explosion close to the border on the Egyptian side of the divided city. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

Since the army toppled Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, hundreds of policemen and soldiers have been killed in attacks in the Sinai by jihadists and other extremist groups, including the Islamic State-affiliated Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Sissi has ordered a series of devastating operations meant to return calm to Sinai’s restive north, carrying out large bombing campaigns that have killed hundreds, as well as razing homes to create a buffer zone with the Gaza Strip.

Jihadists regularly claim to have been targeted by Israeli aircraft.

According to foreign reports, Israel has conducted drone strikes in the peninsula on Islamic State targets. Cooperation has also reportedly taken the form of significant intelligence sharing.

Illustrative: Egyptian security forces in the Sinai, July 2013. (Mohamed El-Sherbeny /AFP)

More publicly, since 2013, Israel has also allowed additional Egyptian forces into the peninsula, beyond the level permitted under the 1979 peace accord between the two countries. Heavy weapons, like tanks, artillery and attack helicopters, have been brought into Sinai to fight the Islamists, a sign that Jerusalem is not concerned those big Egyptian guns could be turned against it.

Ties between Egypt and Israel, once mortal enemies, have thawed in recent years. Since 2017, Sissi has twice met openly with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a sign of improved relations between the countries, though normalization with Israel is still taboo among many Egyptians.

Talks between Netanyahu and Sissi have been thought to revolve around Gaza, which borders the Sinai peninsula. Egypt has played a key role in attempts to broker calm along the Gaza frontier between Israel and the Hamas terror group.

Agencies contributed to this report.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/egyptian-president-confirms-israel-helping-fight-sinai-jihadists/

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The End of American Hegemony

December 29, 2018

America will retreat from the mess in the Middle East, creating openings for Russia and others

IN 1972 Anwar Sadat expelled Soviet military advisers from Egypt, setting the stage for decades of American dominance, and much violent disappointment, in the Middle East. In 2013 President Barack Obama surrendered America’s hegemony when he refused to take military action against Syria’s use of poison gas, and later sought a nuclear accommodation with Iran. Donald Trump, by contrast, has lobbed missiles at Syria and menaced Iran. But as he swings between threatening to crush foes and getting out entirely, the latter instinct will dominate. Sometimes events, his advisers or domestic politics may compel him to take action. But Mr Trump will mostly prove even more detached than Mr Obama.

That will make for unpredictability, ineffectiveness and prolonged chaos. Partial accords might be negotiated in Yemen, Syria and Libya, without finding lasting settlements to end the wars. Mr Trump’s “ultimate deal” of peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be stillborn, if a plan emerges at all. America’s sanctions on Iran will not dislodge its clerical regime, and will strengthen its hardliners. Jihadists will exploit any space to regroup.

Read the rest:

https://www.economist.com/the-world-in/2018/12/28/the-end-of-american-hegemony

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“America First” is an understatement here. The underlying premise is that Uncle Sam owns the world and reserves the right to bomb the hell out of anyone who doesn’t agree with that (to quote President George H.W. Bushafter the first Gulf War in 1991: “What we say goes.”

It’s nothing new. From the start, the “American Century” had nothing to do with advancing democracy. As numerous key U.S. planning documents reveal over and over, the goal of that policy was to maintain and, if necessary, install governments that “favor[ed] private investment of domestic and foreign capital, production for export, and the right to bring profits out of the country,” according to Noam Chomsky. Given the United States’ remarkable possession of half the world’s capital after World War II, Washington elites had no doubt that U.S. investors and corporations would profit the most. Internally, the basic selfish national and imperial objectives were openly and candidly discussed. As the “liberal” and “dovish” imperialist, top State Department planner, and key Cold War architect George F. Kennan explained in “Policy Planning Study 23,” a critical 1948 document:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. … In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. … To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. … We should cease to talk about vague and … unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.

The harsh necessity of abandoning “human rights” and other “sentimental” and “unreal objectives” was especially pressing in the global South, what used to be known as the Third World. Washington assigned the vast “undeveloped” periphery of the world capitalist system—Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the energy-rich and thus strategically hyper-significant Middle East—a less than flattering role. It was to “fulfill its major function as a source of raw materials and a market” (actual State Department language) for the great industrial (capitalist) nations (excluding socialist Russia and its satellites, and notwithstanding the recent epic racist-fascist rampages of industrial Germany and Japan). It was to be exploited both for the benefit of U.S. corporations/investors and for the reconstruction of Europe and Japan as prosperous U.S. trading and investment partners organized on capitalist principles and hostile to the Soviet bloc.

“Democracy” was fine as a slogan and benevolent, idealistic-sounding mission statement when it came to marketing this imperialist U.S. policy at home and abroad. Since most people in the “third” or “developing” world had no interest in neocolonial subordination to the rich nations and subscribed to what U.S. intelligence officials considered the heretical “idea that government has direct responsibility for the welfare of its people” (what U.S. planners called “communism”), Washington’s real-life commitment to popular governance abroad was strictly qualified, to say the least. “Democracy” was suitable to the U.S. as long as its outcomes comported with the interests of U.S. investors/corporations and related U.S. geopolitical objectives. It had to be abandoned, undermined and/or crushed when it threatened those investors/corporations and the broader imperatives of business rule to any significant degree. As President Richard Nixon’s coldblooded national security adviser Henry Kissinger explained in June 1970, three years before the U.S. sponsored a bloody fascist coup that overthrew Chile’s democratically elected socialist president, Salvador Allende: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.”

The U.S.-sponsored coup government that murdered Allende would kill tens of thousands of real and alleged leftists with Washington’s approval. The Yankee superpower sent some of its leading neoliberal economists and policy advisers to help the blood-soaked Pinochet regime turn Chile into a “free market” model and to help Chile write capitalist oligarchy into its national constitution.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/world-will-not-mourn-decline-u-s-hegemony/

Egypt says more than a dozen militants killed in security operation after attack on Christians

November 4, 2018

Egyptian security forces killed 19 Islamist militants from a cell believed to be responsible for an attack on Christians in Minya province in central Egypt in which seven people died, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

Security forces killed the suspects in a firefight after a chase in a mountainous area of the desert west of Minya governorate, the ministry said in a statement.

It did not say when the gun battle took place, nor did it mention any casualties among security forces.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack in Minya when gunmen targeted two buses near the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, 260 km (160 miles) south of Cairo. The dead included six members of the same family.

© Mohamed El-Shahed, AFP | A picture taken on November 2, 2018, shows the remains of a car, reportedly used by the gunmen who attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians, on the side of a road in Egypt’s southern Minya province.

Islamic State did not provide any evidence to back up its claim of responsibility, one of several in recent years as Egypt’s Christian minority has been repeatedly targeted.

The ministry said the suspects were on the run from security forces when national security intelligence identified their location.

Image result for Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, egypt, Photos

Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor

“The area was raided and when it was surrounded the terrorist elements opened fire at the forces, which obliged them to deal with the source of the firing,” it said in the statement.

Security forces recovered weapons including automatic and semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and ammunition, the ministry said.

There had been a lull in major attacks since December, when a gunman attacked a church and a Christian-owned shop near Cairo.

(REUTERS)

Egypt says 19 militants killed in security operation after attack on Christians

November 4, 2018

Egyptian security forces killed 19 Islamist militants from a cell believed to be responsible for an attack on Christians in Minya province in central Egypt which left seven people dead, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

Image result for Egypt, security forces, photos

The suspects were killed in a firefight in the desert west of Minya province after security forces pursued them, the ministry said in a statement. It did not say when the firefight took place.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Minya attack, which occurred on Friday, though it provided no evidence of its involvement.

7 dead in attack on bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt: Islamic State jihadist group blamed

November 2, 2018

At least seven Coptic Christians were killed Friday when gunmen opened fire on their bus in central Egypt, the province’s bishop told AFP.

A security official confirmed the attack in Minya province, adding that there were “dead and wounded”.

Minya Governorate on the map of Egypt

Minya province, in red

Copts, a Christian minority that make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 96 million people, have in recent years been repeatedly targeted by the Islamic State jihadist group.

IS killed more than 40 people in twin church bombings in April 2017 and a month later shot dead almost 30 Christians in Minya province as they headed to a monastery on a bus.

In December 2017 an IS jihadist killed nine people in an attack on a church in a south Cairo suburb.

In February 2018, the Egyptian army launched a major offensive against IS in the Sinai Peninsula, where the group has maintained a strong presence since the fall of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Dubbed “Sinai 2018”, the military campaign has killed more than 450 jihadists, according to the army.

AFP

Related:

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Image result for Amir Tadros church in Minya province, photos

 

The interior of a burned and destroyed Coptic Christian church in Minya province, Egypt. Fifty places of worship were looted and torched in just three days following the dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood camps in 2013.

http://www.pravmir.com/christian-churches-in-egypt-under-worst-attack-in-years/

Protesters and Egyptian riot police clash in Cairo on January 17, as the country awaits the results of a constitutional referendum. On January 18, the electoral commission announced the constitution had overwhelmingly been approved.