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Militants kill 12 military personnel in Egypt’s Sinai
(Reuters) – Suspected Islamic State gunmen killed 12 members of Egypt’s military in North Sinai province and wounded six more in an attack on a checkpoint on Friday, the military said, adding that it killed 15 militants in return.
The incident took place 40 km (25 miles) from the town of Bir al-Abd, making it the first major attack in the central Sinai area, which had so far escaped the militant Islamists’ campaign.
It was carried out using assault rifles and some heavier weapons, medical and security sources said. The wounded were taken to hospital in al-Arish.
“An armed group of terrorist elements attacked a security checkpoint in North Sinai this morning using four-wheel drives and were immediately engaged. Our forces killed 15 terrorists,” the military said in a statement. “The clashes led to the martyrdom of 12 and injury of six armed forces heroes.”
An Islamist insurgency in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai Peninsula gained pace after the Egyptian military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.
The militant group staging the insurgency pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014 and adopted the name Sinai Province. It is blamed for the killing of hundreds of soldiers and policemen, and has started to target Western targets within Egypt.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former military chief who led the overthrow of Mursi, describes Islamist militancy as an existential threat to Egypt, an ally of the United States. Islamic State controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and has a strong presence in Libya, which borders Egypt.
Government to finalize amendments to investment law soon: PM
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the government will hold intensive meetings with several officials and businessmen soon to finalize amendments of the long-awaited investment law, Youm7 reported.
The government will hold discussions with investors, industry associations, law advisors and members of civil society to reach a consensual formula meant to secure a proper climate for luring more domestic and foreign investments, Ismail said.
The law aims to facilitate investment procedures through forming a one-stop shop. It also aims to provide guarantees for agreements signed with governments.
Egypt tourism minister extends condolences over death of Italian Student Giulio Regeni
Egyptian Tourism Minister Yahia Rashed expressed ”much sorrow and regret” for the death of Italian Student Giulio Regeni on the sidelines of his participation at TTG Incontri tourism exhibit currently held in Emilia-Romagna, north of Italy.
“I repeat our condolences and we are truly pained, our authorities and yours are cooperating to solve the case,” Rashed was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA.
Rashid’s participation is an attempt to revive Egypt’s tourism sector that has been hit badly following the 2011 uprising.
”Come to Egypt because we have made great investments for the security of tourists both at airports and various sites. The truth is that not only our country has been targeted but the whole world has been harshly tested by terrorism. It happened in France, in Germany and for this reason we have to join forces.” Rashed said.
FM inaugurates Egyptian Austrian Business Council meetings
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry inaugurated on Friday the Egyptian-Austrian Business Council (EABC) in Vienna, which meant to discuss means of enhancing bilateral cooperation in the economic and trade domains between the two countries, Youm7 reported.
Shoukry heads an Egyptian delegation includes businessmen and officials from the trade ministry.
During the visit, Shoukry will meet with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz for talks on ways to enhance bilateral relations and talks on regional and international developments. He will also meet with Chancellor of Austria Christian Kern.
The EABC was established in 2006 to promote trade between Egypt and Austria and develop industrial and technological collaboration between economic institutions and enterprises from both countries.