The State Information Service (SIS), headed by Diaa Rashwan, called on international news agencies BBC and Reuters to provide names of all the policemen reportedly killed, as they cited in their coverage on the Al-Wahat shootout.
This was not the first call by SIS, as the organisation has condemned in a statement on Sunday the agencies’ coverage that citied higher numbers for the shootout casualties than the numbers that were provided in the Interior Ministry’s official statements.
BBC and Reuters have published that more than 50 policemen were killed in the attack, while the ministry statement that came after one day of delay said that only 16 policemen were killed, thirteen injured, and one reportedly missing in action.
Previously, SIS called for “denying the published number of the victims and confirming the official figures, apologising for the inaccuracy of this information and their sources.” SIS added that in the case that both outlets did not respond to these demands, they have to publish names of the big number of police.
Throughout the time of delay, local and international media kept on publishing contradictory numbers about deaths and different narrations about perpetrators and what actually happened during the clashes.
Egypt’s major shoot-out in the Western Desert occurred after state security received information about a hideout of militants 135 kilometres away from Cairo. Upon forces’ arrival to the scene, terrorists initiated exchange of fire, killing 16 police personnel, injuring 13, and causing one policeman to go missing, according to the ministry on Saturday.
There were recordings that went viral on social media platforms; although unvaried, it was the first account of the event the public heard. Still, security officials are yet to tell what exactly happened.