CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will cut short his visit to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa for an African Union summit and return to Egypt on Friday afternoon following a wave of deadly attacks that took place Thursday night in North Sinai, Youm7 reported.
Sisi mandated Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry to head the Egyptian delegation participating in the African Union Summit scheduled for 30-31 January.
Sisi was scheduled to address the summit but he would return to Cairo Friday morning after the opening session of the African Union Summit. During his visit, Sisi meet with several African leaders including the Sudanese president Omar Al-Basheer , Zambian President Edgar Longo , President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, , Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the Ethiopian prime minster Hailemariam Dessalines, according to a presidential statement.
A fire exchange took place between security forces and “terrorists” who used mortar shells and car bombs in their attacks, according to statement released by military spokesperson Mohamed Samir.
At least 29 people were killed and 36 others were injured in a series of attacks, an official source told Youm7, adding that the victims include 9 civilians.
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack saying that they have launched series of simultaneous attacks against security forces in North Sinai cities of Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayed.
Sisi’s visit to Addis Ababa was seen as “essential move” according to political science professor Ayman Shabana’s statements to the Cairo post Thursday.