- The suspected extremists were planning to target conservative Coptic Christians on Easter celebrations.
- An emergency has been in place since the invasion of a tribal church in Egypt in 2017.
- Earlier this month, the death sentence was carried out against terrorist Hisham Ashmawi.
Seven suspected militants and a police officer were killed after Egyptian security forces raided an alleged hideout in Cairo’s Amiriyah district on Tuesday. According to the Interior Ministry, the whereabouts of the suspected militants were discovered in the Amiriyah district, which was raided by security forces for several hours.
Three other policemen were also reported injured. According to the Interior Ministry’s statement, “a group of terrorists with Takfiri ideology were discovered, who are stationed north and south of Cairo and from there they are preparing to carry out terrorist activities.” Authorities in Egypt use the term “Takfiri” for Islamic extremists who describe their victims as infidels.
According to the Interior Ministry, the suspected extremists were planning to target conservative Coptic Christians on Easter celebrations. One of the oldest Christian communities in the world, Copts account for about 10% of Egypt’s population. Most Christians celebrated Easter last week, but Egypt’s tribal Christians will celebrate it on April 19, along with other Orthodox communities, in tight security.
Authorities say that all seven suspected militants at the hideout were killed and a police officer, named Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Al-Hofi, was killed in one hour-long clash. Three other policemen were also injured in the operation, according to the Interior Ministry. Security forces have also recovered six rifles, guns, and a large number of ammunition from the residential building, in which the suspected militants were hiding. According to authorities, weapons have also been recovered from another building near the scene.
An emergency has been in place since the invasion of a tribal church in Egypt in 2017. The attack killed 33 people in Egypt. Islamic extremists in the northern parts of the peninsula have been targeting Palm Sunday celebrations of Christians coming before Easter, in which many people have been killed. Authorities launched a major operation against such extremists in 2018, killing nearly 800 suspected militants, while the security forces also killed 60 people.
Earlier this month, the death sentence was carried out against terrorist Hisham Ashmawi. Cairo Criminal Court sentenced to death 37 suspects, including the terrorist, Hisham Ashmawi, in the Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis case. It was headed by Counselor Hassan Farid and the leadership of Advisers Khaled Hammad and Baher Bahaa El-Din.
Counselor Hassan Farid began to clarify some details about the case, namely that the accused in the case are 208, including 46 fugitives, 22 dead, and 140 attendees, and they were examined during 121 sessions, at least 315 witnesses were heard from a total number of 835 witnesses, and 33 witnesses were exiled according to the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The State Security Court had followed the accusations against the accused, including Ashmawy, the most important person who carried out 54 terrorist operations, which included assassinations of police officers, an attempt to assassinate former Interior Minister Major General Mohamed Ibrahim, and bombings of several security installations.
The Public Prosecution attributed the defendants to the crimes of founding, operating and joining a terrorist group, aimed at disrupting the provisions of the constitution and laws and preventing state institutions from exercising their actions, assaulting the rights and freedoms of citizens, harming national unity and social peace, and communicating with a foreign organization represented in the Hamas movement, a military organization funded by the Muslim Brotherhood.