CAIRO: Egypt declared three days of mourning for the 21 soldiers killed by anonymous gunmen on a border checkpoint in Wadi Al-Gedid Saturday, presidential spokesperson Ehab Badawi said in a statement Saturday night.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a presidential decision to mourn “homeland’s martyrs” for three days starting on July 20. “The terrorism will be uprooted,” he said, vowing to avenge.
A group of anonymous gunmen targeted the border guard checkpoint near Farafra Oasis, located close to Libya and Sudan’s border, on July 19, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir said on Facebook.
Samir said 21 soldiers were killed and four others injured after they and the ammunition storage were targeted with a rocket propelled grenade in an exchange of fire.
The attackers are seemed to be smugglers, state owned news agency MENA said, quoting security officials, and that the attackers used onslaught heavy weapons. Three of the attackers were killed.
This is the second time Farafra checkpoint was targeted by gunmen in less than three months, where five conscript and an officer were killed and mutilated.
A state of emergency was announced in the governorate of Wadi el-Gedid after the attack and security ambushes were placed on the streets and main squares. Security measures at airports and ports of the governorate were intensified.
Sisi held an urgent meeting Saturday after the incident with the National Defense Council to address the security situations.
A military funeral will be held for the martyrs at Al-Maza Airport afternoon.