News / Middle East

    Attack on Army Convoy Kills 11 in Egypt's Sinai

    FILE - Army soldiers stand guard in their military vehicle in central Cairo, August 30, 2014.FILE - Army soldiers stand guard in their military vehicle in central Cairo, August 30, 2014.
    x
    FILE - Army soldiers stand guard in their military vehicle in central Cairo, August 30, 2014.
    FILE - Army soldiers stand guard in their military vehicle in central Cairo, August 30, 2014.
    Reuters

    An attack on a convoy killed 11 members of the Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, security and medical sources said.

    Two were killed by a roadside bomb and the others were shot as they tried to flee, the security sources said. Security sources said earlier that the attack killed 10 soldiers.

    Militants in Sinai have stepped up attacks on policemen and soldiers since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

    Sisi was elected president three months ago and his government makes no distinction between the Brotherhood -- which says it is a peaceful movement -- and the Sinai militants.

    The attacks initially targeted security forces in Sinai -- a remote but strategic part of Egypt located between Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal -- but they have since extended their reach, with bombings on the mainland.

    The violence has hurt tourism, a pillar of the economy.

    Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb condemned Tuesday's attack and said Egypt would continue to confront terrorism. “The world has witnessed now what the hands of terrorism are doing in our country,” he said in a statement. “Terrorism will not succeed in breaking the will of Egyptians.”

    The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis said in August it had beheaded four Egyptians, accusing them of providing Israel with intelligence for an air strike that killed three of its fighters.

    Egyptian security forces have launched several offensives in Sinai in a bid to eliminate Ansar, widely regarded as the country's most dangerous militant group.

    Chaos in Libya, meanwhile, has allowed militants to set up makeshift training camps only a few kilometers from Egypt's border, according to Egyptian security officials.

    The militants, those officials say, harbor ambitions similar to the al-Qaida breakaway group, Islamic State, that has seized large swaths of Iraq; they want to topple Sisi and create a caliphate in Egypt.

    In July, gunmen killed 21 Egyptian military border guards near the frontier with Libya, highlighting a growing threat from an area that security officials say has become a militant haven.

    The Sinai insurgency has shown how even a small number of militants can mount a challenge to the Egyptian state. Ansar has killed hundreds of people and proved resilient in the face of army offensives, yet Sinai residents say its core amounts to only a few hundred militants.

    Any alliance between Ansar and the militants near the Libyan border could pose big problems for Egypt, which is aching for stability after three years of unrest since the start of the  Arab uprisings. Members of Ansar say contacts between the two groups have already been established.

    Islamists and the Egyptian state are old enemies. Islamist-leaning army officers assassinated President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981, mainly because of his peace treaty with Israel; and former President Hosni Mubarak fought insurgents in the 1990s.

    But the lightning seizure of large swaths of Iraq by Islamic State has added to the sense of urgency in combating militants along Egypt's border with Libya and in the Sinai.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora