UPDATE: Egypt’s politics digest Oct. 15: U.S. embassy condemns terrorist attack‎ in N. Sinai
Coffins of soldiers killed during an attack at a checkpoint along the Sinai border with Israel by unknown gunmen, are carried by soldiers during a funeral at the tomb of the late former President Anwar al-Sadat and the Unknown Soldier monument, in Cairo August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top politics news stories on Oct.15 here:

U.S. embassy condemns terrorist attack‎ in N. Sinai

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo condemned on Saturday the latest terrorist attack that targeted a military checkpoint in North Sinai, leaving 12 servicemen dead and six more injured.

“We express our deepest condolences to the families of the personnel who were killed, and we wish the injured a speedy recovery,” the embassy said in a press release.

The United States stands with Egypt in its fight against terrorism and in its efforts to build a peaceful, stable and prosperous future for all Egyptians, the statement read.

 

Egypt retaliates against Islamist militants after North Sinai attack

(REUTERS)-Egyptian jets bombed Islamist militant targets for three hours on Saturday, one day after Islamic State guerrillas killed 12 soldiers in North Sinai province, the armed forces said in a statement.

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Friday for the attack on a checkpoint 40 km (25 miles) from the town of Bir al-Abd. It was the first major attack in the central Sinai area, which had so far escaped the militants’ insurgency.

“A targeted air strike, which lasted for three hours, resulted in the destruction of the areas … that harbored terrorists, as well as locations for assembling weapons and ammunition,” the statement said, adding that the operation was continuing.

Islamic State said in its statement on Friday that it had killed more than 20 soldiers while suffering no losses itself. The military said 15 attackers had been killed.

The Islamist insurgency in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai Peninsula gained pace after the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule.

The 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.

 

Egypt’s president predicts long war against Sinai militants

(AP)-Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in comments published on Saturday that his country’s war against Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula would be long, but that conditions in the vast and arid region were improving.

In an interview with Egypt’s three state-owned newspapers, he acknowledged that both the militants and government forces were getting better at fighting each other in the strategic area bordering Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

“Conditions in Sinai are improving and (our) efforts are continuing because the war is long,” said el-Sissi, whose comments came one day after Islamic State militants attacked an army checkpoint in Sinai, killing 12 soldiers and wounding at least six more.

“The terrorists are evolving and we are improving our operations,” he said.

 

Egypt, Russia kick off “Guardians of Friendship 2016” military drills

Egypt and Russia commenced the “Guardians of Friendship 2016″ joint military exercise on Saturday, which involves airborne troops from both countries, the Egyptian army announced in a statement on Saturday.

“The joint military training will include drills between Egyptian and Russian paratrooper units in the northwestern region of el-Alamein,” Egyptian military spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement posted on the Egyptian military’s official Facebook page.

The military exercise, which is the first to carried out on an Egyptian soil, will last until Oct. 26.

Last year Russia and Egypt held their first joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean, which included the Black Sea fleet’s flagship Moskva missile cruiser.

“Participation of servicemen of the airborne troops of Russia in the international exercise regulated agreements reached with the Egyptian side and in accordance with the plan of the international activities of the Ministry of Defense of Russia,” Russian defense ministry announced in a statement Tuesday.

Russian military exercises are usual combat training measures and “are no signals or threats to other countries,” Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

 

Egypt will participates in Lausanne meeting on Syria Saturday

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will take part in the key ministerial meeting on Syrian crisis, scheduled to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland on Saturday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid announced on Friday evening in a statement.

In a bid to reach appropriate means to settle the Syrian conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and ministers from countries playing a key role in the region will be present during the meetings. Egypt, along with Iran and Iraq, were invited by Russian and U.S. to attend the meeting.

The U.S State Department announced a second international meeting will take place in London on Sunday to look into the means to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

 

Four Egyptians belong to IS group arrested in Libya

Libyan Tobruk-based military forces in northeastern city of the Jebel Akhdar, 55 kilometers away from Al Bayda’ city, have arrested on four Egyptians belong to the militant Islamic State group, according to media office of security directorate in the Jebel Akhdar.

The four Egyptians, who were arrested after they left Benghazi city, confessed the crimes they committed in Benghazi for getting 300 LYD daily.

 

Sisi: Egypt almost to get out of bottleneck

“Egypt almost gets out of the bottleneck. And getting out requires us to take difficult decisions that we should bear…the Armed Forces exert major role in the development process. Such role will retreat over the coming years after conducting the plan of re-building rehabilitating the stat’s infrastructure,” said President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in his interview with editor-in chiefs on Friday.

President added that the Egypt’s armed forces are able to protect the country against any threats could impact of its stability or the whole region’s stability, particularly the Gulf countries.

 

Re-trial of police killer who killed Shaimaa Sabbagh kicks off

South Cairo Criminal Court will consider the first session of retrial of police officer who was sentenced to 15 years in jail over killing an activist, Youm7 reported.

In June 2015, Lieutenant Yassin Salah el-Din, 24, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh during the commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution.

Salah el-Din, a Central Security Forces officer, fired birdshot at Sabbagh at Talaat Harb Square in Cairo from a close range, leading to her death.

 

Lebanon in need to strengthen relations with Egypt: ex-PM

“Lebanon is in strong need to strength its relations with Egypt, said Nagib Mikati on Friday in a ceremony held in at the port of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, Egypt’s state-owned news agency MENA reported on Saturday.

Egypt has sent a steamship named “Aida” with a total of 67 trainers from Egypt and other different nationalities to conduct maritime training in Lebanon. The ship affiliates with the Egyptian Authority For Maritime Safety (EAMS).

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