How the world is still paying for Egypt’s civil war
Egyptian soldiers stormed a security checkpoint and killed three civilians on Friday, while fighting raged in the city of Ras al-Amud, killing at least nine people and wounding more than 200, officials said.
The assault, which followed a brief crackdown on suspected Islamists in the coastal city of Alexandria, left more than 100 people wounded, the Health Ministry said.
Egyptian security forces have battled militants in the Sinai Peninsula for more than a year and are battling armed groups, most notably Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, who seized control of the peninsula last year.
The government has faced mounting criticism for the military’s handling of the conflict, with protesters demanding the resignation of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has taken power in a popular uprising in 2011.
Egypt has been rocked by a series of attacks, including a deadly car bomb in December that killed at least 20 people, including seven police officers.
It is also embroiled in a decades-long civil war that has killed more than 300,000 people.
On Friday, security forces raided a security area in the eastern province of Giza, killing three civilians, state news agency MENA said.
It was unclear how many of the dead were members of the security forces, but some witnesses told Al Jazeera that dozens of soldiers and civilians had been killed.
The attack came as clashes raged in Alexandria, which is largely controlled by the military and has been the scene of a series the deadliest assaults on civilians in the country’s history.
A local newspaper, al-Ahram, said two civilians had died in Ras al Amud after the soldiers opened fire on the area.
Al-Ahrams account did not identify the civilians.
Egypt is in the midst of an ongoing political crisis, with many protesters demanding that Sisi step down.
The military, backed by Sisi, has cracked down on protesters since seizing power in the summer of 2011.
A number of other protests have been staged in the past month, as the military tries to contain unrest.
In September, the military said it had arrested more than 3,000 demonstrators for the alleged role in an earlier anti-government protest in the same city, killing six protesters and injuring more than 250.
The crackdown on the protests has further strained relations between Egypt and the United States, with President Donald Trump urging the military to end the protests and saying the US would not support a military takeover of Egypt.