CAIRO: Egyptian security forces were hunting for armed supporters of deposed President Mohammed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood yesterday after retaking control of a town near Cairo in a crackdown on Islamists.
Security sources said 85 people had been arrested since troops and police stormed Kerdasa on Thursday, but the area had not yet been stabilised. State television said dozens of weapons including rocket-propelled grenades had been seized.
Security forces had been absent from the area since August 14, when 11 police officers were killed as Kerdasa’s main police station was hit by rocket-propelled grenades and set on fire.
A police officer said around 150 arrest warrants had been issued for people suspected of the attack on the police station or of an attack on a church in Kerdasa.
Army-backed authorities, who say they are waging a “war on terrorism”, have arrested top Brotherhood leaders to try to neutralise one of the Middle East’s most influential Islamist movements. The mostly state-controlled media have portrayed the Brotherhood as blood-thirsty enemies of the state.
Yesterday, a funeral service for a police general who was killed in Kerdasa was televised live on state TV, which ran a caption reading “Egypt confronts terrorism”.
Twenty six people were wounded at a demonstrations in various provinces in Egypt yesterday in clashes between Mursi supporters and opponents, medical officials said.
In Sinai, a bomb blew up near three buses carrying soldiers, but there were no injuries.