Clashes as Egypt troops swoop on Islamist stronghold near Cairo

Security forces clash with 'terrorists' in pro-Morsi village after police officer shot dead, bombs threaten Cairo metro. Site of clashes scene of earlier fighting which left 11 police officers dead in what some call 'massacre'

Clashes in which a senior police officer was killed erupted on Thursday as Egyptian security forces stormed the village of Kerdasa near Cairo in the latest crackdown on militants, officials said.


Military vehicles rolled into the village on the edge of the capital just after dawn in search of "terrorists," a security official said.


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"A heavy exchange of gunfire ensued between the security forces and the terrorists," killing Giza deputy security chief General Nabil Farrah, the official said.


Fire in streets of Cairo (Photo: AFP)

Fire in streets of Cairo (Archive: AFP)


Television footage showed thick teargas hanging over the rural patch near the Giza pyramids, as army and police vehicles moved around deserted parts of Kerdasa.


Authorities slapped a daytime curfew on the village as they went door to door in search of 140 wanted men, including those behind the Kerdasa "massacre" in which 11 policemen were killed.


On August 14, just hours after authorities launched a crackdown on two protest camps in Cairo of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, 11 policemen were found dead at the Kerdasa police station.


Several other police stations near the village were also torched.


Damage in mosque (Photo: Reuters)

Mosque damaged in clashes (Archive: Reuters)


Thursday's operation "is to clear the village of terrorist elements," the security official said. The operation was launched after a 3 am meeting of Interior Ministry officials.


Egyptian police and troops have launched a sustained campaign against militants and Islamists since the army's ouster of Morsi on July 3.


The operation in Kerdasa comes after a similar crackdown was launched in the town of Delga in central Egypt on Monday.


Meanwhile in Cairo, several metro lines serving hundreds of thousands of commuters were briefly grounded after two unexploded bombs were found on the tracks in a south Cairo station.


Bomb experts were dispatched to the scene and combed the tracks for more devices, one official said. Services resumed soon afterwards.


A source within the Interior Minsitry has said the bombs were fakes.



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פרסום ראשון: 09.19.13, 12:51
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