Armed Islamic militants attacked the positions of Egyptian security forces in Rafah and El Arish in the northern Sinai this morning. Rockets were fired at a police station in Rafah which stands right outside a base of the Egyptian military intelligence service.
At least one Egyptian soldier was reprted killed and two wounded.
Egyptian security forces in the El Arish airport were also attacked by Islamists armed with RPGs and grenades. There were no reports of injuries or serious damage.
Egypt is on alert this morning, before Friday prayers in the mosques. The Islamic coalition, led by the Muslim Brotherhood whose elected president has been removed from office and placed under house arrest, have called on their supporters take to the streets after prayers and protest “peacefully” the military coup and the arrests.
The Egyptian military is urging the people to avoid revenge attacks following President Morsi’s ouster, and called for a reconciliation among the rival factions.
The Obama Administration is pressuring Egyptian officials not to jail the deposed president and his supporters, Reshet Bet reported. U.S. National Security Council officials stressed that the Egypt must have an elected government as soon as possible.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr spoke last night on the phone with his American colleague, Secretary of State John Kerry, and insisted that Egypt is not under a military coup. He told Kery the Army only fulfilled the will of the people, who are still the sovereign in Egypt.
On Thursday, a number of senior Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested and placed in Tora prison, the same prison holding former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. They were accused of giving orders to murder protesters using snipers. Eight Egyptians were shot outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo.
Adly Mansour, the judge who headed up Egypt’s Constitutional Court, was sworn in as the interim Egyptian president on Thursday, replacing the ousted Morsi who was overthrown by protesters and the Egyptian army.
The Egyptian main stock index rose over 7% following Egyptian president Morsi’s removal.
Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party is negotiating with the Army in an effort to reopen the religious television channels which have been taken off air following Morsi’s ouster on Wednesday, the Salafist party leader Younis Makhioun said on Thursday.
A handful of Islamist channels – including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Misr 25 and the Al-Hafez and Al-Nas TV channels – were abruptly taken off air on Wednesday, and their staff were arrested.
Those religious channels had sparked controversy in the past, according to Al Ahram, and were accused of using hate speech against Christians, Shia-Muslims and secular opposition figures.