An Armed Forces officer kidnapped by militants during the Wahat Road attack was freed and an unspecified number of armed militants killed following a security operation near Fayoum on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the Armed Forces.
Military spokesperson Tamer al-Rifai announced on Wednesday that the militants, thought to be involved in the Wahat Road attack, initially fled a security operation west of Fayoum city. The Air Force, commando units and local police forces tracked them down and “carried out a precision airstrike which killed all militant elements in the area, while other combat units supported by air cover continue to sweep areas near the operation.”
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited the freed officer, Captain Mohamed al-Hayes, in the Galaa Military Hospital on Wednesday, after he underwent an operation, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry.
Hayes was kidnapped on October 20 during the militant attack beside the Wahat Road in the Western Desert, 135 km outside Giza, in which 16 police personnel were killed, according to the Interior Ministry.
Prior to Hayes’ rescue, which was announced on Tuesday night, the Armed Forces spokesperson reported that the Air Force carried out airstrikes on the suspected hideouts of militants involved in the attack. Three four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying weapons, ammunition and explosives were targeted and an unspecified number of militants killed during the operation which was carried out in a mountainous area of Fayoum Governorate.
The clashes on Wahat Road precipitated a shakeup within the Interior Ministry, which saw many high-ranking figures assigned to new posts, including National Security Agency Head Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy and security director of the Giza Governorate, where the attack took place.