CAIRO: The remains of a young Egyptian soldier killed in the 1973 October War (also known as the Yom Kippur War or 1973 Arab-Israeli War) were found during the digging of the New Suez Canal Project Monday, Egyptian media outlets reported.
The soldier was named Mohamed Atwa, and along with his body, workers found a combat boot, a canteen, a comb and a wallet with his national ID and conscription card. He was from the village of Toukh, Dakahlia governorate.
Egypt regained control over the majority of the Sinai Peninsula from Israel in the October War following six years of Israeli occupation after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, frequently called the Six Day War in the West and Israel, but called “Al-Naksa” (The Setback) in Egypt.
Atwa’s family received their last letter from him only a few days before the war was launched in October 1973, Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted his brother Hassan, 58, as saying.
He disappeared after the war, and his family believed him dead, but the military only formally informed them that he was “martyred” in 1977, saying in an official certificate that he was “an example of courage and valor on the battlefield.”
Atwa, who was a driver in the military transportation department, was around 22 when he was killed, and had been conscripted three years earlier, Eman, his daughter and only child, told Youm7 Tuesday.
The soldier married Eman’s mother, who died last year, in December 1970. Eman was a little over 1-year old when he died, and his wife never remarried.
Eight Toukh men died in the war, and their bodies were returned and buried in the village, except for Atwa, his brother told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The military is reportedly in touch with Atwa’s family in Toukh to send his remains to be buried in his home village.
Additional reporting by Sherif el-Deeb.