Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2013 Contents A29
Monday, August 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
EL-ARISH, Egypt---Egyptian hel-
icopters fired on a meeting of
suspected militants in the coun-
try s Sinai Peninsula, officials
said Sunday, killing at least 12
people as authorities stepped up
their attacks following an Israeli
drone strike in the region.
The helicopter attack came as
Egyptian and Israeli officials tried
to downplay the drone strike Fri-
day in the largely lawless Sinai,
fearing popular criticism in a
country already roiled by last
month s military coup that ousted
President Mohammed Morsi.
The Egyptian officials told The
Associated Press that three hel-
icopters targeted militants in the
desert town of Sheik Zuweyid late
Saturday. The officials said another
dozen were wounded in the attack.
The officials spoke on condition
of anonymity as they were not
authorized to speak to reporters.
Military spokesman Col Ahmed
Mohammed Ali later confirmed
the attack in a post on his official
Facebook page. He said 25 mili-
tants were targeted, but did not
offer a breakdown of casualties.
The suspected militants targeted
in the air assault were wanted for
an attack on Egyptian soldiers last
year that killed 16, Ali said. They
also were wanted in connection
to the abduction of seven security
forces earlier this year, he said.
A resident of Sheik Zuweyid
told the AP that he saw the hel-
icopter attack start Saturday night.
On Sunday, he said neighbours
saw two funerals for slain fighters,
one with four bodies and one with
two. Mobile phone service also
had been disrupted as the oper-
ation took place, he said.
The resident spoke on condition
of anonymity out of fear of retal-
iation. Egypt s military and secu-
rity forces have been engaged in
a long battle against militants in
the northern half of the peninsula.
Militants and tribesmen have
used the area for smuggling and
other criminal activity for years.
Militants have fired rockets into
Israel and staged other cross-bor-
der attacks there on previous occa-
sions. Attacks against security per-
sonnel have intensified in the
region following the popularly
supported July 3 coup that ousted
On Friday, Egyptian security
officials told the AP that a drone
firing from the Israeli side of the
border had killed five suspected
militants preparing to fire rockets
The site of the strike was about
five kilometres (three miles) inside
Egypt. The officials spoke on con-
dition of anonymity as they were
not authorised to brief journal-
Israel has maintained official
silence about the strike, likely out
of concerns about exposing
Egypt s military to domestic public
Egypt s government celebrates
its battles fought against Israel
over Sinai. Egypt and Israel signed
a peace treaty in 1979, but many
still view the Jewish state with
In a statement late Saturday
night, Israeli Defense Minister
Moshe Yaalon said his country
"appreciated" unspecified actions
taken by Egypt against militants
over the weekend.
However, Yaalon did not deny
Israel launched a drone attack Fri-
day targeting militants inside of
Egypt. "Israel respects the full
sovereignty of Egypt," Yaalon said.
He said Israel is "aware of the
Egyptian military s increased activ-
ity against terror infrastructures
in the Sinai Peninsula" and praised
the Egyptian military for "fighting
first and foremost to protect
Egypt s citizens and sovereignty."
On Saturday, Egypt s state
media quoted an anonymous sen-
ior security official saying the
strike against the militants had
been carried out by Egyptian hel-
The reports also claimed the
militants had been preparing to
fire on Egyptian targets rather than
Israel, possibly so as to not be seen
defending Israeli interests.
On his Facebook page, Ali said
the Egyptian army activity in Sinai
is intended to be confidential and
to "work in silence".
A little known militant group,
Ansar Jerusalem, said four of its
men died in Friday s drone strike
and blamed the deaths on Israel.
The discrepancy between their
death toll and the one offered by
Egyptian authorities could not be
Kevin Rudd, left,
ahead of the
election, at the
go to the polls
on September 7,
2013, during the
to choose the
KABUL, Afghanistan---Heavy rains and
overnight hailstorms killed at least 22
people near Afghanistan s capital, a dis-
aster management official said Sunday.
Mohammad Daim Kakar, who coordi-
nates disaster management for Kabul
province, said the rains began late Saturday
and continued into Sunday morning.
They caused floods that killed at least
20 people in Kabul s Chakardara district
just north of the capital, he said, adding
that the victims included seven children.
Kakar said another two children died
in a flood in the Paghman district west
of the capital.
Most of the victims were in cars that
were swept away and submerged by the
flooding, he said.
He also said at least 10 homes in
Chakardara were either swept away or
heavily damaged, and that earthmoving
equipment had been sent to the area to
look for any more victims or survivors
buried under the mud.
Houses in Afghanistan are often built
of mud and straw, or mud bricks. Heavy
rains are uncommon in mid-summer. Last
week flash floods killed about 75 people
in five eastern provinces. (AP)
HARARE, Zimbabwe---Zimbabwe s state
radio says the country s ministry of mines
controlled by longtime ruler President
Robert Mugabe has not struck a deal to
sell uranium to Iran for its nuclear pro-
The radio said yesterday that mining
ministry dismissed reports in the British
media that the two countries have signed
an agreement on uranium exports as "a
malicious and blatant lie."
The mining ministry statement said
Zimbabwe s uranium deposits have not
been exploited and "we have never issued
any license to any Iranian company."
Police said they are searching for two
British journalists of The Times of London,
one visiting for the July 31 elections, over
the uranium report.
It is a criminal offence with a penalty
of imprisonment or a fine for "publishing
falsehoods" under Zimbabwe s sweeping
media laws. (AP)
deal with Iran
floods kill 22
Egypt army says
12 militants killed
in north Sinai
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