World Bulletin/News Desk
Egyptian army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday compared the Egyptian army to a pyramid that "cannot be broken."
"Egyptians will not forget those who stood by their side," al-Sisi said in an address to the nation delivered late Sunday on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Egypt's 1973 military victory over Israel.
Official celebrations were held at the Air Force Stadium, east of Cairo, in the presence of a host of government and Arab officials.
The army chief thanked Arab states that had offered their support to Egypt's new military-installed government, saying Egyptians would forget neither those who stood with it nor those who stood against it.
He was widely perceived to have been referring to the countries – led by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates – that rushed to extend aid to Egypt following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi by the army this summer.
"By the grace of God, we will protect the Egyptian people and the [popular] will," al-Sisi declared.
Comparing the Egyptian army to a pyramid, al-Sisi described the armed forces as "unbreakable" due to the popular support they enjoy.
Friday's war anniversary celebrations coincided with several bloody confrontations between unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators and police in different parts of the country.
Clashes left 51 demonstrators dead and 268 injured, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry. Around 600 pro-democracy protesters were arrested by authorities, a security source said.
On July 3, Egypt's army ousted Morsi – Egypt's first freely-elected president – with the backing of the nation's top Muslim and Christian religious establishments and secular political powers.
Nine arrested in Sinai
Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces have arrested nine militants in the north of the restive Sinai Peninsula, a security source said Monday.
The militants were arrested in a raid while possessing 0.25 ton of TNT explosive and two Russian-made mines, the source said.
During the raid, the forces also managed to demolish four houses that used to harbor militants and seized three vehicles used in attacks against police stations and checkpoints.
Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which shares borders with both Israel and the Gaza Strip, has seen almost daily attacks by unknown gunmen since the army's July 3 ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi.
The Egyptian army is currently carrying out what is described as the largest military operation in the province with the stated aim of combating "militancy and terrorism".
Last Mod: 07 Ekim 2013, 11:02