The Muslim Brotherhood said on Friday that the Egyptian army should return to its barracks to end “the shedding of Egyptian blood in Sinai,” responding to a series of militant attacks that killed at least 30 people in Sinai the day before.
Militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the violence, but President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi blamed the Brotherhood in comments on Friday, saying that the deaths were a price Egyptians were paying for ousting the group from power in 2013.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is highly disturbed by what happened to Egyptians living in Sinai, including the forced displacement, destruction of many homes and all the bloodshed in the peninsula, including the killing of dozens of soldiers and sons of Egypt,” the group said in a statement on its website.
The Egyptian military began demolishing hundreds of houses on the border with the Gaza Strip in October last year, in an attempt to create a buffer zone and prevent the flow of weapons and militants into Sinai.
“There is no way out of this situation except for the army to return to their barracks, and also to restore the rights to the families living in Sinai,” the statement read.
The Egyptian government designated the Brotherhood a terrorist group in December 2013 amid a crackdown that put thousands of its members behind bars. The group’s leaders and representatives have denied any links with militant attacks in Sinai or elsewhere.
The Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was ousted from the presidency in July 2013, after mass protests against his rule.
An exact death toll from Thursday’s attacks has not been released by military officials, but media reports suggest at least 30 died, including civilians.
Source: Ahram Online