Former Houthi air force commander killed in Yemen

In this file photo, newly recruited Houthi fighters chant slogans as they ride a military vehicle during a gathering in the capital Sanaa. (AFP)
Updated 18 January 2019
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Former Houthi air force commander killed in Yemen

  • Major General Ibrahim Al-Shami ranked 19th on the Arab coalition's most wanted list
  • He was killed in “mysterious circumstances”

LONDON: A former Houthi air force commander has been killed in Sanaa after the Arab coalition launched an intelligence operation, Al Arabiya reported.

Major General Ibrahim Al-Shami, who ranked number 19 on the Arab coalition's most wanted list, was killed in “mysterious circumstances.”

Al-Shami was responsible for ballistic missile and drone attacks during his time as air force commander of the Houthi militia, and was dismissed a few months ago in a decision that was not announced. 

He was placed under house arrest under the direct orders of Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi, and was ranked 19 out of 40 on an Arab coalition list of wanted terrorists. 

Al-Shami was also targeted by other Houthi leaders, Al Arabiya reported. 


Two police officers killed after terror suspect blows himself up near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo

Updated 19 February 2019
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Two police officers killed after terror suspect blows himself up near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo

  • The blast also killed the bomber and injured three other policemen
  • Egypt’s tourism industry has been struggling to recover from attacks and domestic instability

CAIRO: Two police officers were killed when a terror suspect blew himself up after he was surrounded by police near Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo on Monday.

The blast in the crowded Darb Al-Ahmar district also killed the bomber and injured three other policemen, the interior ministry said.

“As security surrounded the man and was set to arrest and control him, an explosive device in his possession went off,” the ministry said in a press statement.

The explosion took place after police chased the suspect who they believe had planted a bomb near a security staff close to a mosque in Giza on Friday, the statement said. Security officers had been able to defuse that device.

Monday’s explosion that took place near Al Azhar mosque at the heart of ancient Islamic Cairo damaged several shops.

“My shop’s front and windows were destroyed,” said Kareem Sayed Awad, a barbershop owner. “Not only that, but people have died. This is a tourist area and such incidents affect it.”

Egypt’s tourism industry has been struggling to recover from attacks and domestic instability that has hit the country in the years following a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

In December three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide died when a homemade bomb exploded on their bus on the outskirts of Cairo, near the famed pyramids in Giza.

Authorities have been seeking to lure tourists back by touting new archaeological discoveries and bolstering security around archaeological sites and in airports.

Tourism has slowly started picking up. The official statistics agency says tourist arrivals in Egypt in 2017 reached 8.3 million, up from 5.3 million the year before.

But that figure was still far short of the record influx in 2010 when over 14 million visitors flocked to the country.

Egypt has also for years been battling an Islamist insurgency, which deepened following military’s ousting of Islamist president Muhammad Mursi in 2013.

The attacks have been mainly concentrated in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula but have also spread to the mainland.

In February 2018, security forces launched a major anti-militant operation focused on the Sinai Peninsula, aimed at wiping out a local affiliate of the Daesh group.

On Saturday, an attack on an Egyptian army checkpoint in north Sinai left 15 soldiers dead or wounded and seven of the suspected jihadist assailants killed, according to the military.
 

(With AFP)