Egypt's Al-Azhar condemns on Saturday
recent assaults on military personnel and
sites in the Sinai Peninsula saying that "an
attack on Egypt's brave soldiers is an
attack on its national security."
In an official statement on Saturday,
Egypt's highest Islamic institution Al-Azhar
called on everyone to protect Egypt's
security and stand against all attempts to
"turn the army away from its national
The statement asserted the sanctity of
human life and stressed an Islamic stance
against bloodshed, citing verses from the
Quran and Prophet Mohamed's
The Sinai Peninsula has witnessed
increasing confrontations between
militants and Egyptian army forces since
the ouster of former Egyptian president
Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. After president
Hosni Mubarak was ousted on 11
February 2011, the area also saw militant
attacks on gas pipelines.
Jihadist groups are centralised in Sinai and
are believed to be wreaking havoc in
protest over the ouster of Islamist
Late on Friday, unidentified armed men
opened fire on four military checkpoints
in Rafah and Al-Arish in North Sinai. No
deaths have been reported.
Earlier on Friday, a policeman was killed
in a militant attack at a checkpoint in
Last week, at least ten policemen were
killed in Sinai in separate attacks.