Sinai attack: Morsi sacks senior security officials

Published August 9th, 2012 - 05:38 GMT
Egypt army
Egypt army

Senior officials were sacked Wednesday in Egypt after a suspected Islamist attack, which killed 16 soldiers in the Sinai. President Mohamed Morsi has decided to replace the head of the powerful intelligence service, General Mouafi Murad, who retired from office, and Governor of North Sinai, Abdel Wahab Mabrouk.

The presidency did not specify the reason for the dismissals.

Morsi also asked his defense minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi to replace the commander of the military police. He also ordered the appointment of a new security chief in Cairo and a new Commander of Central Security, a large paramilitary force often deployed to deal with riots.

This was his first demonstration of authority since taking office on June 30.

The decisions came after Egyptian helicopters fired missiles on suspected Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula. According to Egyptian security officials, it was the first time that the Egyptian army fired missiles in Sinai since the war in 1973.

The Egyptian army spoke Wednesday about a "total success" of its ground and air operation against "terrorists" in the Sinai.

The mission was carried out to date "with total success," assured the army, stating it would "monitor and restore security (in the Peninsula) by chasing and targeting armed terrorists ".

The statement did not give more details on the workflow, or concerning victims or arrests.

Last night, unidentified assailants attacked checkpoints near Al-Arish, on the northern coast of Sinai, where three policemen were injured, according to the Ministry of Interior.

North Sinai is prey to anarchy since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. A major arms smuggling from Libya goes through the Bedouins of the region and Islamist groups inspired by Al Qaeda launch attacks against Egyptian security forces.


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