Egyptian airstrike targets arms convoy from Libya

Chief Prosecutor Al-Sadiq Al-Sour speaks during a press conference in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 28 September 2017

Egyptian airstrike targets arms convoy from Libya

CAIRO: The Egyptian air force said on Thursday it destroyed a convoy of 10 all-terrain vehicles in the country’s western desert suspected of smuggling weapons from Libya.
The raid was carried out on Wednesday on the basis of information that “criminal elements were preparing to infiltrate” Egypt, said army spokesman Col. Tamer El-Refai in a statement.
The officer said that the vehicles were attacked once they entered Egyptian territory, but he did not specify the fate of those in the convoy.
Egypt, which has struck terrorist targets inside Libya, regularly warns of a spillover of instability from its lawless western neighbor, a haven of arms and people trafficking.
The country has been battling an insurgency of its own since the military’s ouster in 2013 of former President Mohammed Mursi.
Terrorists have killed hundreds of members of Egypt’s security forces, while more than 100 Copts have died in church bombings since December.
In a separate development, Libyan authorities have arrested a suspected Daesh militant they believe was involved in the execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya in 2015.
Chief Prosecutor Al-Sadiq Al-Sour said that the executions took place behind a seaside hotel in the coastal city of Sirte.
He said authorities had also identified the site where the bodies were buried.
The killings, documented in a grisly video released online by the extremists, shocked Egypt and led it to launch punitive airstrikes.
Al-Sour said Daesh militants have been using Sudan, the country’s southern neighbor, to get into Libya.
Hundreds of Daesh militants are believed to have fled Sirte into the Libyan interior after their defeat last year by militias loyal to a UN-backed government in Tripoli.


Iraq PM in talks with UK's Boris Johnson on security, political reforms

Updated 47 min 18 sec ago

Iraq PM in talks with UK's Boris Johnson on security, political reforms

  • Johnson expressed his strong support for the Iraq government
  • Both leaders discussed issues of bilateral interest, and discussed recent political and security issues

LONDON: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson discussed security challenges in the Middle East on Thursday.
A-Khadimi met the UK leader at Downing Street as part of an a European tour. 
Johnson expressed his strong support for the Iraq government as they discussed economic reforms, the coronavirus pandemic and the continued effort to defeat Daesh.
The Twitter account of Al-Kadhimi's office said both leaders discussed issues of bilateral interest, and discussed recent political and security issues in Iraq and the region. 
They also agreed on more cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
“It was agreed to increase more cooperation in the field of combating terrorism, as well as in the political and economic sectors, in light of the economic challenges that Iraq faces,” his office said.
Prior to his UK trip, Al-Kadhimi met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
During these visits, Al-Kadhimi discussed Iraq’s main challenges such as the fight against terrorism and foreign interference in its affairs.
The Iraqi leader, who became prime minister in May, has a particularly affinity with the UK, having lived there for many years after fleeing Iraq in the 1980s.