8 Oct 2013

Attacks on strategic targets in Egypt kill soldiers

9:07 am on 8 October 2013

A series of attacks has been carried out on strategic targets in Egypt.

Six Egyptian soldiers were killed near the city of Ismailiya on the Suez Canal.

The soldiers were killed by masked gunmen during an army patrol in a pick- up truck outside the city.

Two more security personnel were killed in an explosion in the volatile Sinai area - it's thought a car bomb was to blame.

The Egyptian army is in the midst of a huge operation there, fighting Islamist militants.

The BBC reports that in Cairo at least two rocket-propelled grenades were fired in a dawn attack on a satellite communications centre in the city's Maadi neighbourhood.

The violence follows a brutal crackdown in Cairo on Monday when more than 50 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood died as they attempted to make their way to Tahrir Square.

Hundreds of Brotherhood followers have been killed by the security forces since their president Mohamed Morsi was removed from power.

'In the wrong place at the wrong time'

Meanwhile, New Zealand freelance journalist Campbell MacDiarmid believes he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, when he was detained in Egypt and accused of being a spy.

Mr MacDiarmid was covering the continuing protests in Cairo when he and a British journalist were detained and held at a police station on Sunday.

It happened five weeks after another New Zealand journalist, Wayne Hay, was arrested while covering a protest in Cairo.

Mr MacDiarmid told Morning Report he had been observing a disturbance about two kilometres from Tahrir Square.

"On the edge of some clashes I was set upon by a group of men who ... accused me of being a spy and an American, and stole my phone and then handed me over to the police.

"They said they detained me for my own safety which was somewhat true because by this stage a bigger crowd had gathered."

Campbell MacDiarmid says some people around him were trying to protect him from furious protesters, before the police intervened.