Egypt foils attack on Sinai checkpoint

In this file photo, Egyptian police inspect cars at a checkpoint in North Sinai. (AFP)
Updated 12 April 2019
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Egypt foils attack on Sinai checkpoint

  • Most insurgent attacks have been concentrated in the restive northern province of the Sinai, to the east of the country
  • In contrast, southern Sinai, the site of Friday's thwarted attack, is a major tourist hub boasting several resort towns by the Red Sea

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces foiled an attack Friday on a checkpoint in the south Sinai resort region, shooting dead two attackers, one of whom wore an explosive belt, the interior ministry said.
"Security forces prevented the attack exchanging gunfire ... which led to the deaths of two perpetrators" at the checkpoint in Oyoun Moussa, said a ministry statement.
"One of them wore an explosive belt with the intention to target the checkpoint ... bomb experts defused the device," it added.
Egyptian security forces have been targeted by extremist groups since the army overthrew former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Most insurgent attacks have been concentrated in the restive northern province of the Sinai, to the east of the country.
In contrast, southern Sinai, the site of Friday's thwarted attack, is a major tourist hub boasting several resort towns by the Red Sea.
Egypt in February last year launched a large-scale military operation against Daesh in the Sinai Peninsula.
Around 600 suspected militants and about 40 soldiers have been killed so far, according to official figures.
Friday's attack came days after a teen suicide bomber killed four Egyptian security forces in North Sinai.


Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

Updated 24 April 2019
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Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

  • Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country
  • The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation

PRISTINA: Kosovo prosecutors have requested the house arrest of 16 women repatriated from Syria, saying they are suspected of joining or taking part as foreign fighters there.

The women appeared on Wednesday in court in Pristina, a day after 10 other women were put under house arrest. None have been charged with a crime.

Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country.

The women and children were sent to the Foreign Detention Centre in the outskirts of Pristina but were freed to go home after 72 hours.

Ten women were seen entering Pristina Basic Court in a police escort on Tuesday. The court said in a statement later that they had been placed under house arrest on charges of joining foreign armed groups and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2019.

The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation and more of them are expected to appear in front of judges on Wednesday. The prosecution has yet to file charges.

After the collapse of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, countries around the world are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return to their home countries.

Kosovo's population is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but the country is largely secular in outlook. More than 300 of its citizens travelled to Syria since 2012 and 70 men who fought alongside militant groups were killed.

Police said 30 Kosovan fighters, 49 women and eight children remain in the conflict zones. The government said it plans to bring back those who are still there.

International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On Saturday, 110 Kosovar citizens — the four alleged foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children — were returned to Kosovo with assistance from the United States, the first such move for a European country.

Authorities say there are still 87 Kosovar citizens in Syria.