0831 GMT September 23, 2019
The early Wednesday attack, claimed by the terrorist Takfiri Daesh group, targeted two police stations near the port city of El-Arish, killing eight policemen.
“The goal behind such measures is to preoccupy Muslim and regional countries with peripheral issues and distance them from the Muslim world’s first and principal priority, which is supporting the people of Palestine and defending the noble [city of] al-Quds,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Moussavi said on Thursday, Presstv Reported.
Israel claims Jerusalem al-Quds, which it has occupied since 1967, to be its “capital,” ignoring the Palestinians’ demand that the city’s eastern part should serve as the capital of their future state.
Moussavi condoled with the Egyptian people and government over the bloodshed, reiterating that condemnation of terrorist activities was a principal stance of the Islamic Republic.
He also laid emphasis on the need for cooperation and solidarity among the countries of the region in their effort to confront terrorism and extremism.
Also on Thursday, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said the country’s security forces had given chase to militants who carried out the attack, killing a total of 19 suspected assailants since the attack. The ministry added that 14 automatic weapons, three explosives devices, and two suicide belts had also been found during the operation.
The North Sinai has been the scene of intermittent militant attacks and clashes between militants and security forces since 2013.
Hundreds of security personnel members have been killed by militant violence in the region.
In late 2017, militants staged the bloodiest attack in Egypt’s modern history by killing more than 300 worshipers at a mosque in the North Sinai.
No group claimed the atrocity. The Egyptian public prosecutor’s office said later, however, that the individuals who waged the gun and bomb assault were carrying a Daesh flag.
Last February, the army launched a nationwide counter-terrorism offensive focusing mainly on the North Sinai. According to official figures, around 650 militants have been killed since the start of the operation, while the army has lost some 50 soldiers.