CAIRO: For the first time since the launch of military operations in North Sinai a year ago, the armed forces released Friday pictures of “takfirists” it says were killed from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3.
“First of all the pictures aim at reassuring public opinion of military efforts and the fight against terrorism in Sinai,” Ibrahim Abu Handal, a military expert and former brigadier general told The Cairo Post Saturday.
“The message is also intended to warn terrorist groups and scare off their supporters or those who wish to join them that there will be a strong security response. It also tells the world that amid the instability and terrorist threats from the Islamic State (IS) and the like in the region, Egypt remains a consistent state and will continue to deter terrorists and restore regional stability,” he added.
The pictures displayed violent images of alleged jihadist militants soaked in blood, with different weapons spread on the floor next to them. The photos, available on the official Facebook account of military spokesperson Maj. Mohamed Samir, received nearly 18,000 likes, more than 4,000 shares and more than 3,000 comments praising them.
In a press statement accompanying the pictures, the military stated that in the above mentioned period, it killed 16 extremists and arrested 30 in Sinai, amid other operations in several governorates.
Emergency security measures have been undertaken in North Sinai. In addition to intensified raids, security forces were assigned to protect main police and military security directorates, Al-Shorouq reported Friday.
Security forces backed by the military also closed several main squares inside the cities of Sheikh Zuwayed, Arish and Rafah, as well as established security installations on main highways and roads leading to State security buildings, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported eyewitnesses saying Friday.
“We will not stop before gaining retribution for our sons from the police and armed forces,” Deputy Minister of Interior for Special Forces Medhat al-Minshawy told Al-Masry Al-Youm.