Liwaa al-Thawra takedown hailed as a success

By Mohammed Mahmoud in Cairo


A member of the Egyptian forces stands guard as onlookers gather on August 5th at the scene of a deadly explosion outside the National Cancer Institute in Cairo. [Aly Fahim/AFP]

A raid in the Greater Cairo area in which Egyptian security forces killed nine members of a Liwaa al-Thawra terror cell has been hailed as a success.

Egyptian forces killed nine militants in raids on two hideouts in Obour city in Qalyubiya and 15 May city in Helwan, Egyptian media reported Wednesday.

Liwaa al-Thawra leader Mahmoud Gharib Qassem, known by the alias Khalaf al-Dahsoury, was among those killed, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Qassem had been involved in the assassination of Brig. Gen. Adel Rajaei, commander of the Egyptian Army’s 9th Armoured Division in October 2016, and an August 2016 attack on a police checkpoint in al-Egiezy in al-Menoufiya.

Two police officers were killed in the checkpoint attack, the ministry said.

In the Greater Cairo raid, "security forces seized six automatic rifles, two sniper rifles as well as nitrate, electric circuits and detonative charges", the ministry statement said.

'A painful blow to the group'

"The security agencies’ identification of the Liwaa al-Thawra cell is a successful and painful blow to the group," Egyptian Centre for Strategic Studies director Brig. Gen. Khaled Okasha told Al-Mashareq.

"The cell has been inactive and silent for a while, and has been regrouping itself and recruiting new elements," he said.

"The latest strike has helped thwart future operations against sites and facilities in Cairo," he added.

"Accurate information and swift movements by the security forces significantly help repel and neutralise the terrorists before they can carry out their destructive operations against the country’s stability and security," Okasha said.

Liwaa al-Thawra first appeared in October 2016, when it claimed responsibility for the assassination of Rajaei outside his home in Obour.

In November 2016, the interior ministry said two Liwaa al-Thawra elements had been killed in a shootout with security forces in al-Menoufiya, north of Cairo, and that the vehicle which had been used in Rajaei's assassination had been found.

In April 2017, Liwaa al-Thawra claimed responsibility for an attack with an improvised explosive device (IED) near a police training centre in Tanta, in the Nile Delta province of al-Gharbiya.

Nine policemen were critically wounded in that incident.

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