Armed Forces commemorate ‘Martyrs Day’
Egyptian army leaders during commemoration of those killed in wars - Courtesy of military spokesperson official facebook page

CAIRO: Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi attended a conference and seminar organized by the Armed Forces Department of Moral Affairs on Sunday in commemoration of those killed in wars, according to a statement issued by President Adly Mansour on Sunday.

Sisi paid his respects and said “the martyr’s blood is what created Egypt’s modern history, which was even more enhanced by the support of the people for military efforts,” according to the statement.

Mansour also praised those killed in wars, to whom he said in the statement, “Egypt renews its promise each year never to forget them, as they sacrificed themselves for Egypt and the Arab nation.”

One of the most prominent figures honored on “Martyrs Day” was Gen. Abdul Moneim Riad, who was the chief of staff and was killed by Israeli forces during the War of Attrition in 1969.

“The days of Egyptian glory continue, engraving its memory in history, to always remind us that the fate of this nation is to pave the way for heroes and great leaders, providing the best examples of loyalty and sacrifice to the country,” said Gen. Samy Anan, former chief of staff, in a statement.

Many Egyptians consider “martyrs” to be particularly blessed by God in the afterlife due to the sacrifice they made to defend their nation. War “martyrs” are considered heroes by the military and families.

Azhar scholars also condemned the targeting of military soldiers, considering it a betrayal to the nation, and a betrayal to God, Al-Ahram reported on Monday.

Sisi has become a popular icon in Egypt because he is viewed as the man who removed former President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood from power, and the alliance between the military and popular support for their takeover was widely celebrated in the months following the events of June 30.

At the same time, the military has experienced a series of attacks on their soldiers and officers in the Sinai as the post-Morsi period revealed the power of armed Islamist opposition groups. Authorities accused the Brotherhood of forming alliances with “terrorist” groups inside and outside of Egypt, and conspiring to take over the country.

In December, the Brotherhood was officially declared a “terrorist” organization and its activities were banned. Attacks on the military continued. Meanwhile, security forces conducted a crackdown on any person suspected to be affiliated with the Brotherhood, including activists and students.

During the commemoration of the revolution on Jan. 25, several groups protested against military rule, demanding a civil state.

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