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Egypt News

16 policemen killed, 13 injured in Egypt's Western Desert shootout with terrorists


Published 2017-10-22 06:37:14| Amwal Al Ghad English

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said on Saturday that 16 policemen were killed and 13 were injured in a shootout with terrorists on Friday in Egypt’s Western Desert. The ministry said that 11 police officers, four conscripts and one sergeant were killed in the shootout, and a search is underway for one missing police officer. Four police officers and nine conscripts were also injured. The ministry also said that 15 terrorist were killed or injured in the attack. The ministry added that "media outlets should rely on official sources only for information on the incident." Shortly after the attack, authorities released a statement saying that “a number of policemen” were killed after terrorists opened fire on security forces as they attempted to conduct a raid on a terrorist hideout in Egypt’s Western Desert, about 135 kilometres (83 miles) southwest of Giza. The hours-long shootout took place when an initial security force attempted to raid the hideout, leading to an exchange of fire initiated by the terrorists, who were armed with “heavy weapons,” according to the Saturday statement.  Later on, Egyptian security forces exchanged fire with the terrorists after combing the area, killing and wounding 15 of them.  "The ministry stresses ... that this (incident) will only strengthen its resolve and determination to exert more efforts and uproot terrorism," the statement added.
International News
Japanese voters deliver their verdict on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nearly five years in power in an election on Sunday that could give him the clout to push ahead with his cherished goal of revising the post-war, pacifist constitution. Media forecasts show Abe's gamble on the snap poll is likely to pay off, with his conservative Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition closing in on the two-thirds "super majority" it had in parliament's lower house before dissolution. A hefty victory would raise the likelihood that Abe, who took office in December 2012 promising to bolster defense and reboot the economy, will win a third term as LDP leader next September and go on to become Japan’s longest-serving premier. It would also reenergize Abe’s push to revise the war-renouncing constitution by clarifying the status of the military, while maintaining his “Abenomics” growth strategy centered on the Bank of Japan’s hyper-easy monetary policy. The constitution’s Article 9, if taken literally, bans the maintenance of armed forces. But Japanese governments have interpreted it to allow a military exclusively for self-defense. Backers of Abe’s proposal say it would just codify the status quo. Critics fear it would allow an expanded role overseas for the military. The LDP’s junior partner, the Komeito, is cautious about changing the constitution, but media have forecast that the LDP and pro-revision opposition parties are on track for the two-thirds majority needed to begin to change the charter. A weak LDP showing, however, could trigger moves to replace Abe when his term as party chief ends, and cloud the outlook for amending the constitution. Abe, 63, has already led the LDP to four landslide wins since he took the helm of the party, but turnout has been low and the LDP has typically won with about 25 percent of eligible votes. Others either stayed home or backed opposition parties. This time, Abe said he needed a new mandate to tackle a “national crisis” from North Korea’s missile and nuclear threat and a fast-ageing population. He called the poll amid confusion in the opposition camp and an uptick in his ratings, dented earlier in the year by suspected cronyism scandals. Abe has backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough stance toward Pyongyang that all options including military action are on the table. Trump is to visit Japan Nov. 5-7 to reaffirm the leaders’ tight ties. “The situation in the world is not stable in many aspects and I believe the LDP is the only party to rely on,” 78-year-old Kyoko Ichida said after voting in the capital. As voters went to the polls, powerful Typhoon Lan was dumping heavy rain on much of Japan, threatening to lower turnout. Voting ends at 8 p.m. (11:00 GMT) and media issue exit polls thereafter. Final official results will be early Monday morning. Abe’s move had seemed risky after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, often floated as a possible first Japanese female premier, launched her conservative Party of Hope. The Party of Hope absorbed a big chunk of the failed main opposition Democratic Party. But voter enthusiasm soon seemed to wane despite its calls for popular policies such as an exit from nuclear power and a freeze on a planned sales tax rise. Koike is not running for a lower house seat herself - she will be in Paris for a climate change event on Sunday - and has failed to say whom her party would back for prime minister. Fish wholesaler Kazuo Takeguchi, 71, said he had had hopes for Koike’s party but was disappointed when she decided not to run. Instead, he voted for the Japanese Communist Party, in part because of the cronyism scandals that had eroded Abe’s ratings. “I can’t help wonder if you are entitled to do whatever you want to if you are sole strong party,” Takeguchi said. “I want some party to emerge as a force to defeat the LDP,” he said, adding, however, that the JCP was unlikely to play that role. A new Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), formed by liberal DP members, is now vying with Koike’s party for the top opposition spot, though both will have just a sliver of the LDP’s presence if forecasts prove accurate.
MENA News
A suicide attacker rammed a car full of explosives into a bus leaving Afghanistan’s top military training centre in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 15 soldiers, including cadets and their trainers, officials said. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a particularly deadly week for Afghanistan’s security forces. The bombing was also the second major attack in the capital Kabul in 24 hours after a suicide attack at a Shi‘ite mosque killed more than 50 worshippers on Friday night. “Army personnel were coming out of Marshal Fahim University when a suicide bomber in a car targeted them. Fifteen soldiers who were there for training were killed and four others were wounded,” Ministry of Defence spokesman Dawlat Wazari said. A statement from President Ashraf Ghani’s office said the bus was carrying trainers and cadets from the defense university on the western outskirts of Kabul that is home to the Afghan military’s officer training school and other military academies. Afghan security forces have been struggling against the Taliban since most foreign troops left at the end of 2014. U.S. President Donald Trump committed to an open-ended military training and support mission in Afghanistan in August, despite criticism that it is no closer to peace despite billions of dollars in aid and nearly 16 years of U.S. and allied operations. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for Saturday’s car bomb in an email to reporters. The Taliban have been waging an insurgency for a decade and a half in an attempt to overthrow the Western-backed government in Kabul and re-establish a fundamentalist Islamist regime. The insurgents now control or contest about 40 percent of Afghanistan. Afghan security forces including police were being killed at a rate of about 600 per month in battles and targeted bombings earlier this year, according to a U.S. report. This week’s toll looked to be particularly heavy for Afghan forces after attacks across the country, including Taliban fighters using captured U.S.-provided Humvee vehicles as vehicle bombs to ram into fortified compounds. On Thursday the Taliban stormed a military base in the southern province of Kandahar, killing at least 43 of the 60 soldiers manning the base, which was left in ruins. Two days earlier dozens of security personnel were killed and scores wounded in Taliban attacks on government compounds in Paktia and Ghazni provinces, with a senior provincial police commander among the dead. In addition to the Taliban, Afghanistan has in recent years seen a rise in violence claimed by fighters who have claimed loyalty to the Islamic State’s Middle East-based leadership, although the movement controls little territory in Afghanistan. Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Kabul on Friday evening in which a bomber walked into a Shi‘ite Muslim mosque as people were praying and detonated his explosives. The toll in the attack on Imam Zaman mosque rose to 54 killed, including children, and 55 wounded, a deputy minister for religious affairs, Dai-ul Haq Abid told a news conference on Saturday. Another mosque attack on Friday killed at least 33 people in central Ghor province.