Egyptian security officials said Monday that suspected militants had ambushed two police minibuses in northern Sinai, firing rocket-propelled grenades and killing 24 policemen.
The officials said the Monday morning attack took place as the two vehicles were driving through a village near the border town of Rafah in the volatile Sinai Peninsula.
They said the attack also left three policemen wounded. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Sinai, a strategic region which borders the Gaza Strip and Israel, has been witnessing almost daily attacks by suspected militants since the July 3 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in a military coup.
The attack in Sinai was the latest flare-up of violence which has left more than 900 people dead across Egypt in just five days, as the wedge between Egyptians who support Morsi and those who believe the military rightly intervened to force a deeply unpopular president out of office drives deeper.
More than 450 people have been killed in Cairo alone during the past four days — just over half the country’s nationwide death toll during the week of violence. Hundreds of those victims died when Egyptian security forces attacked two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo on Wednesday.
The scene encapsulated the venomous mood in Cairo.
Let us look at a few stimulating issues that we must never take for granted; moreover, never let any one take from us.
It is never good for a cause — whatever it may be — to open fire against police. How do we know of this tragic event? Officials spoke with anonymity as they were NOT allowed to speak with the media. Anyone thinking of our 1st Amendment rights considering freedom of speech and the freedom of the press? And lastly, still within the 1st Amendment we are guaranteed the freedom to assemble — considering permits and various fees and regulations, nonetheless we are looking at people who were involved in a “sit in.”