Egypt’s ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, denounced “foreign hands” whom he believes was behind the deadly car bombs that killed scores of security personnel in northeast Sinai on Friday.
The president, whose regime has been battling jihadist elements since the military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi last year, declared a three-day mourning period throughout the country on Saturday.
In a televised speech to the nation, Sisi, who sat alongside his top generals and security advisors, lashed out at “foreign powers who are trying to break Egypt’s back.”
The president vowed “determined steps in fighting the extremists” as part of a campaign “that will take a long time.”
Meanwhile, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Saturday that the government plans to establish a buffer zone along the Sinai frontier with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.