Friday 19 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people in the latest apparent jihadist attack on Egypt's Christian minority. The Islamic State group claimed its "soldiers" carried out the attack on the Saint Mina Coptic church in the district of Helwan, just south of Cairo. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that the gunman was shot dead after killing nine people and wounding others, including a police officer. But the interior ministry said the assailant, a wanted jihadist implicated in attacks on police, had been wounded and arrested. The man had been armed with an assault rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and a bomb he intended to set off at...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier on Friday announced the sale of 12 C Series aircraft to EgyptAir in a deal worth $1.1 billion. The company said it signed a letter of intent last month for the sale of the 160-seat CS300 planes, with an option for another 12, and that was converted into a firm purchase agreement. The deal would be worth nearly $2.2 billion if EgyptAir buys the additional 12 planes, according to a statement from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. This order, together with another for 31 aircraft from an unidentified European company in early November, has given a boost to the Canadian manufacturer after seeing delays and the doubling of costs in the C Series program. "The aircraft is performing...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people in the latest apparent jihadist attack on the country's Christian minority. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that the gunman was shot dead after killing nine people and wounding others, including a police officer. But the interior ministry said in a statement that the assailant, a wanted jihadist implicated in attacks on police, had been wounded and arrested. The jihadist had been armed with an assault rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and a bomb he intended to set off at the church, the ministry said. The ministry said he killed two people when he opened fire on a store before heading...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
Egypt's Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of its population, have come under attack by Islamist radicals several times over the past years. With a new attack on Friday, when a gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo and killed nine people, here is a timeline of the major incidents. - 2017 - May 26: Masked gunmen order Christians travelling to a desert monastery to get off their buses and recant their faith. The group -- a mix of visitors and workers heading to the Saint Samuel monastery south of Cairo -- refuse and are shot one by one. About 30 people are killed. The Islamic State group claims responsibility. - April 9: Two churches are...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/17)
Six Egyptian soldiers died when their vehicle exploded during a raid against "terrorists" in restless North Sinai province, the army said Thursday. "An officer and five soldiers died when an explosive device blew up their vehicle during a raid on a terrorist den," spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said in a statement. In a separate operation, three jihadists were killed, he said, adding that they were in possession of weapons, ammunition and explosive devices. Four vehicles belonging to the cell were also destroyed, killing the passengers inside. He did not specify the date of either incident.
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Egyptian authorities on Tuesday executed 15 prisoners convicted of attacks on security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula, police officials said. The men were hanged in two jails where they had been held since military courts sentenced them for the attacks in the Sinai, where jihadists are waging an insurgency, the officials said. It was the largest mass execution carried out in the North African country since six convicted jihadists were hanged in 2015. The hangings come a week after the Islamic State group attacked a helicopter with an anti-tank missile at a North Sinai airport as the country's defence and interior ministers were visiting. The ministers were unhurt in the attack but an aide to the defence minister was...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Egypt's top diplomat is to visit Addis Ababa Tuesday to discuss controversial Ethiopian plans to build a dam on the Nile that Cairo fears will impact its water supplies, his ministry said Monday. Construction of the massive dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia has poisoned relations between the two countries, as Egypt fears its share of water from the Nile will be hit once the project is completed. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry's visit to Addis Ababa is "a new Egyptian move aiming to break the deadlock" in talks with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Renaissance Dam, foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said. The three countries have yet to approve a May report on the social and environmental...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Nine people suspected of belonging to a cell behind attacks in the Sinai Peninsula were killed during a police raid in northeastern Egypt, the interior ministry said Sunday. The cell based in Sharqiya province was implicated in attacks on "security posts and military apparatus in North Sinai, which killed many members of the armed forces and police force," the ministry said in a statement. Members were also accused of plotting other attacks on vital infrastructure in the region, it added. Police found automatic rifles and ammunition during the raid on a site that had been used as a weapons and explosives training centre. Security forces in Cairo also detained nine people and seized weapons and explosive devices, the ministry said...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
Masked gunmen opened fire on a cafe south of the Egyptian capital, killing three people, security officials said Sunday. The attack, which took place overnight in the village of Al-Ayat about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Cairo, left at least five others wounded, they said. While the motivation was unclear officials suspect it was a criminal incident rather than terrorism. State-run newspaper Akhbar al-Youm, citing witnesses, said two attackers arrived on a motorcycle and opened fire on people in the cafe before fleeing. Security officials arrived at the scene and also interviewed injured people in hospital to try to identify and arrest the attackers, the newspaper reported.
(AFP (eng) 12/26/17)
An Egyptian court sentenced a British woman to three years in prison on Tuesday, convicting her of trying to smuggle drugs into the country, a judicial official said. Laura Plummer, 33, was arrested at Hurghada airport when customs officers found almost 300 Tramadol pills in her luggage. The strong painkiller is tightly controlled in Egypt where it is often abused as a recreational drug. Plummer and her relatives had told British media that she was bringing the painkillers for her Egyptian boyfriend who suffers from back pain. The verdict can be appealed.
(AFP (eng) 12/23/17)
Two accidents on Egypt's roads have killed at least 26 people in three days, authorities said. A collision Saturday involving a minibus on a desert road 145 kilometres (90 miles) south of Cairo left 13 dead, the health ministry said. That came just days after a crash on the same road also claimed 13 lives. Accidents on Egypt's roads killed more than 5,000 people in 2016, according to official figures, and authorities have moved to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Egypt's judiciary said Thursday it had launched an inquiry after Human Rights Watch accused security services of widespread torture of detainees in a probable "crime against humanity". The New York-based rights group said in a September report that security services in the North African country used torture as a "systematic practice" against suspected opponents of the government. The prosecutor's office said Thursday that counsellor Nabil Sadik had ordered the appointment of a senior judicial official "to investigate the allegations mentioned" in the HRW report. In a statement in English, it said the investigation, which began in late October, aimed to "rightfully stand on the truth and take the necessary legal measures".
(AFP (eng) 12/22/17)
Egypt's judiciary has submitted "new elements" in the investigation of the 2016 murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni, prosecutors from the two countries announced Thursday. "The Egyptian investigation team has submitted accounts and documents containing new elements," Attorney General Nabil Sadek of Egypt and his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Pignatone said in a joint statement. They said the new elements covered "progress achieved by the company tasked with recovering recordings from metro stations in Cairo", without elaborating. In January, Egypt authorised Italy to send experts to examine footage from surveillance cameras at a Cairo metro station to shed light on Regeni's final public movements...
(AFP 12/21/17)
Ali Abdelaziz sees children as a "gift from God", so much so that he has 10 of his own, even as Egypt's government struggles to stem a "catastrophic" population boom. Abdelaziz works in the capital as a doorman, but his children stay in a village with their mother in the southern province of Minya where life is cheaper. Egypt's overpopulation is adding pressure on the economy, already reeling from the political and security turmoil since the 2011 uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. With 96 million inhabitants -- and 9.4 million expatriates -- the Arab world's most populous country adds 1.6 million people every year to its population. At the current rate, Egypt's population will reach 119 million in...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved the third installment of a $12 billion, three-year loan for Egypt, bringing the total released to date to just over $6 billion. The IMF board approved the latest $2 billion disbursement under the deal signed in November 2016, after a fund team last month praised Cairo's progress on "bold" economic reforms. In order to obtain IMF approval for the loan, the country has implemented a set of drastic reforms, adopting a value-added tax, cutting energy subsidies and floating its pound. Since the 2011 revolt toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, the economy of the Arab world's most populous country has received multiple shocks caused by political instability and security issues. The IMF said Egypt's...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Five jihadists were killed Wednesday near El-Arish airport in Egypt's restive North Sinai where a rocket strike killed two officers during a visit by the defence and interior ministers, security sources said. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for Tuesday's strike on the airport, saying in a statement it had targeted visiting Defence Minister Sedki Sobhy and Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar. The military said after the attack that an officer was killed and a helicopter damaged when a "projectile" struck the airport while the ministers where visiting "to inspect the security forces and security situation in Sinai". Neither minister was harmed and the military later published footage of them returning to Cairo, but a second officer has died...
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
An Egyptian court on Tuesday has sentenced 21 persons to death over charges of joining and forming Islamic State (IS)-linked terrorist group, official news agency MENA reported. The defendants were convicted of leading and joining a group which adopted ideas that called for killing the leader and to change the regime by force as well as assaulting the police and army institutions. The convicted were also charged of possessing bombs and explosive deceives for using it in terrorist operations that will jeopardize the public security and order, national unity and social peace. The defendants admitted joining IS's calls of killing the leaders, security men and the Copt, as the judge read. The court referred the sentence to Grand Mufti, the...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
An Egyptian military court sentenced a colonel to six years in prison on Tuesday after he announced plans to stand in the 2018 presidential election, his lawyer said. Ahmed Konsowa was given the jail term for "stating political opinions contrary to the requirements of military order", his lawyer Asaad Heikal said. The colonel had announced he would be a candidate for president in video messages and a statement on Facebook on November 29. He was also accused of "appearing on the social network website Facebook in military uniform, contrary to the requirements of military order," Heikal said.
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Egyptian security forces killed five militants when they raided a hideout in a suburb north of Cairo on Monday, the interior ministry said in a statement. Security forces have been battling an insurgency by an Islamic State group affiliate based in North Sinai since the military's 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the crackdown on his supporters that followed. Most of the violence has been in North Sinai province, but there have also been attacks on the military, police and even churches elsewhere, including Cairo. The ministry said the five were hiding out at a construction site in Obour City...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Egypt's military prosecutors have released more than 200 football fans who had spent over five months in detention accused of vandalising a stadium and attacking police, a lawyer said Monday. Police had detained hundreds of supporters of Cairo's Zamalek club following a July 9 game against Libya's Al Alhi SC, keeping 236 of them in detention ever since, said defence lawyer Mohamed Hafez, who represented more than 100 of them. Following months of investigations, the military prosecution released them Saturday "because there was not enough evidence to allow for a criminal trial," Hafez said. Their release was also reported by state media.

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