“Egypt will continue its confrontation against terrorism and those financing and standing behind it, with strength, decisiveness and efficiency, until it’s curbed,” Sisi said during a special security meeting in Cairo on Sunday, a day after scores of police forces were killed in an ambush outside the capital.
Egypt is still in shock after the massive attack which began late Friday just 135 kilometers outside Cairo where police forces reportedly tried to raid a major terrorist hideout. Authorities said 16 police officers were killed in the ambush but security sources have put the death toll on more than 50. The confusion surrounding the incident and how it unfolded has sparked widespread criticism among the public.
No group has claimed responsibility for the high-profile attack. It is the latest to rock Egypt since the overthrow of the country’s first democratically-elected president Mohammed Morsi in 2013, a coup many say was orchestrated by Sisi, the then army chief.
A branch of Daesh, a Takfiri group which is losing its foothold in the Middle East, has launched numerous attacks against security forces and civilians across Egypt and in the restive Sinai Peninsula over the past years. Recent ambush on police took place near Egypt’s western desert region, where militants from neighboring Libya have carried out attacks in the past.
Sisi said in his Sunday meeting with top security officials, including defense and interior ministry representatives, that his government would try its best to secure Egypt’s borders and hunt down militants.
Rights group say Sisi’s large-scale crackdown on followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest political party in the Arab world and the most popular in Egypt, has been to blame for the increased insecurity across Egypt. Hundreds of Brotherhood supporters have been killed since Morsi’s ouster while courts across the North African country continue to issue death and life sentences to people deemed to be linked to the group.