Egyptian military used schools in Sinai as military bases, says Sinai Foundation

17

The Sinai Foundation for Human Rights has accused the Egyptian army taking over 37 schools and turning them into military bases while destroying dozens of other schools in a decade-long war with militants in Sinai. An investigation by the rights group in cooperation with the Guardian revealed that the Egyptian army carried out unnecessary targeting of schools. Also, 59 schools were destroyed in clashes between the army and rebels. “Schools are used as military bases because they are often built with two or three floors — while most buildings in the area are single storey — and that gives the army the possibility to station snipers,” said Ahmed Salem, director of the rights group.

Sinai Human Rights quoted a father whose children were attending a school that later became a military base, and two of his three children had stopped learning. He added that the government had failed to transfer the children properly to another school after it seized their original one. The Egyptian Armed Forces lost thousands of its officers and soldiers due to the war with the Sinai Province militants. Tribal groups supporting the army also lost dozens of their members. Military operations failed to eliminate the terrorist organization, despite security cooperation between the Egyptian and Israeli armies. Sinai Human Rights quoted a father whose children were attending a school that later became a military base, and two of his three children had stopped learning. He added that the government had failed to transfer the children properly to another school after it seized their original one.