The Egyptian army is negotiating deals with 13 Sinai Bedouin tribal chiefs for setting up militias to counter alien militant activity in their territories across the peninsula and in the Israeli border region. On offer are new weapons, training and monthly paychecks for undertaking this task. Sinai has a Bedouin population of approximately 100,000 from which, debkafile’s military sources estimate, a fighting force of 8,000-10,000 can potentially be mustered.
Those sources note that Egypt has turned to the doctrine US Gen. David Petraeus, now CIA Director, applied in Iraq 2006 and 2007 to enlist Iraq’s Sunni tribal leaders in the western region to the war on al Qaeda by providing them with arms, training and regular payments.
The Egyptian army has so far managed to recruit two tribal leaders.
Abu Ahmed, chief of the Sawarkas, agreed this week to organize his men into a fighting force for securing the Egyptian-Israeli border and safeguarding it against terrorist and smuggling incursions from Sinai. Sawarka territory starts at the Philadelphi strip bordering southern Gaza and runs west along the Mediterranean coast of northern Sinai.
An Egyptian army officer and three civilian bystanders were shot dead in fighting between an armed group and security forces in northern Sinai, security sources said on Saturday.
About 100 armed men rode through the town of el-Arish on Friday on motorcycles and in cars, waving flags with Islamic slogans and firing in the air, Sinai security sources said.
They then attacked a police station, engaging in a shootout with the police and army in which the army officer died.
With mountains of rubbish towering over children and endless bin bags bulging from high-rise flats, these are the shocking images that show Cairo’s ‘Garbage City’ – where thousands of Egyptians live amongst piles of stinking rubbish.
Manshiyat naser, or Garbage city, as it is known by locals, is a slum on the outskirts of Cairo, just a short drive away from luxury five star resorts.
But these shocking photos show a whole community which has been living in the slums for hundreds of years surrounded by rats and rotting rubbish.
Protests have brought Egypt’s administrative and commercial nerve centres to a standstill , as government attempts to stem a growing wave of opposition to military rule succeeded only in galvanising demonstrators further.
The interim prime minister, Essam Sharaf, took to the airwaves late on Saturday pledging to “meet the people’s demands”, following mass rallies across the country in which Egyptians accused the ruling council of army generals of betraying the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak this year.
In a short and strained address to the nation, Sharaf said all police officers accused of killing protesters would be stopped from working, and promised that the trials of former Mubarak ministers and other regime officials would proceed “as soon as possible”. He insisted that social and economic problems would be reviewed by the army-appointed transitional cabinet.