Hostages Captured At Death Toll Rises: 58 Casualties Now Confirmed…
Egypt is beginning to look like the next terror enclave and the geography in the region may make it one of the most formidable enemies of peace yet.
Yesterday, scores of Egyptian security forces attempted to attack an outpost that was known as a terrorist headquarters in the desert southwest of Cairo.
The Location Of The Ambush:
A town that has developed around the Bahariya Oasis has fallen into the hands of Islamic militants and the Egyptian security forces, many of which were conscripted, were tasked with liberating the region.
Unfortunately, it seems like one of two deadly possibilities unfolded prior to their arrival: either a member of the Egyptian security forces with information on the attack leaked it out to the Islamists, or an Islamic scout alerted the main contingent at the Oasis before the arrival of the security forces.
Casualties And Hostages:
Whatever the case, an attack that was supposed to take the Islamist forces by surprise was turned into a trap. The Islamists ambushed the security forces who were largely unable to defend themselves. The death-toll was originally reported to be around 50 dead but that number has now risen to 58.
And that’s where things get worse, because when you think things cannot get any worse, they inevitably do. Egyptian officials have now come forward to admit that a number of hostages have been captured by the militants. Al Jazeera Arabic was first to report on this matter:
Who Is Responsible? No One Has Claimed The Attack But Locals Have Hinted:
This attack marks the “single deadliest attack“ by Islamic militants in the region since the outlaw of most Islamic political in 2013. Terrorists set upon the Egyptian forces with rocket propelled grenades and locals report that they belong to an organization known as the Hasm Movement which Egypt claims to be an armed wing of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
The Muslim Brotherhood briefly held power in Egypt after a joint effort between them and the secular military forces colluded to overthrow the Egyptian president in 2011. The honeymoon between the Islamists and the Egyptian regulars was short lived, however. In July of 2013, protests broke out among the general population and the military used this as their opportunity to crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood ousting their elected president Mohamed Morsi. Shortly thereafter, the Muslim Brotherhood was labeled a terrorist group.
Morsi has been imprisoned and sentenced to life.
The US Responds:
The State Department Issued the following statement today:
The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack against Egyptian security forces near the Bahariya Oasis yesterday, which killed dozens of Egyptian personnel and wounded many others. We offer our profound condolences to the families of the deceased and the government and people of Egypt, and extend our best wishes for the full and speedy recovery of those injured.
There’s a big risk for this issue to bubble over and become another Islamic State. Egypt is not exactly the most stable nation. We’ve seen the horrific results of Islamists controlling historic regions in Syria – thousands of ancient monuments from the Assyrians to the Romans have been destroyed. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives and homes to Islamic terrorists throughout the Middle East. There’s no telling where this leads, but this is certainly leading nowhere we want it to go and it risks spiraling out of control.