30 September 2020 11:26 AM

Egypt FM : Sinai mosque attack 'terrorist, barbaric':

Tuesday، 28 November 2017 - 11:58 AM

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said Friday’s attack on worshipers at a mosque in North Sinai is "barbaric and inhuman."

"The Egyptian government does everything in its ability to protect citizens whether in Sinai or anywhere else. As we have seen across the globe terrorist activity is targeting soft targets, not military targets, and has the ability to target innocent civilians,” Shoukry told CNN on Monday 27/11/2017.

"No government is able to protect each and every citizen, but we must do our utmost to deal with the terrorist threat and to eradicate the terrorist threat through the use of our intelligence and also through cooperation and assistance of our international partners," he added.

The top Egyptian diplomat added "no one state can undertake fighting terrorism by its own, but it must be a collaborative activity by the international community."

Asked about the reason behind the terrorism presence in Sinai, although it was defeated in Iraq and Syria, Shoukry said "we have warned in many occasions that there is a potential that some foreign fighters that have fled those areas of conflict might infiltrate other parts of the region like Egypt, Libya and Sub-Saharan Africa."

"I think those warnings were quite justified. We are seeing increasing level of foreign fighters that crossing borders and fleeing borders of Syrian and Iraq and winding up in various part of Africa," he added.

Asked about the information available on the Sinai attack, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said "We are in the process of collecting information related to this heinous attack and the government has already targeted several sited in Sinai where there are potential terrorist activity or terrorist groupings. And we will continue to investigate and ascertain the responsible parties and continue to their impact their presence in Sinai."

Shoukry added that the attack, which left 305 people dead, including 27 children, has left a very deep impact not only in Egypt but also worldwide due to the barbarism and inhuman nature of the assault that targeted worshipers during Friday prayers.

 

Shoukry said initial investigations into the attack have revealed that a limited explosion happened inside the mosque which led the worshipers to flee the site and they were surrounded by terrorists who heavily fired at them.

"This resulted in the very high number of casualties," he said, adding the government does its utmost to protect citizens in Sinai and everywhere else.

On the situation in Yemen, Shoukry said "We feel sensitive to the humanitarian situation in Yemen and have been appealing to all sides to undertake political negotiations and dialogue to resolve the conflict there so that the humanitarian conditions and needs of the Yemeni people can be addressed."

"We see that the United Nations and organizations that are providing assistance must do more assistance and more assistance must enter Yemen to meet needs of the people. But, again the conflict is ongoing and we must find a political solution to it on the bases of the resolutions of the Security Council and efforts of the UN envoy," he said.

On the Foreign Ministry spokesman’s criticism of the CNN coverage of the Sinai attack, Shoukry stressed that the freedom of press is an important issue whether in Egypt or outside.

He added that "Sinai is an area of military activity and conflict. As we have seen terrorists most often target foreign nationals in addition to Egyptian nations," he said.

MENA

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