CAIRO: Seventy workers were killed today [Feb 12] when Israeli aircraft attacked a steel plant at Abu Za’bal, not far from Cairo, the “Middle East News Agency” reported. This was the heaviest civilian casualty toll in a single raid since the June war of 1967.

A military spokesman here denied Israeli claims that the raid had been directed at military targets at Khanka. All the casualties had been workers at the factory, the spokesman said. The wounded had been rushed to hospital. Journalists and correspondents were later allowed to visit the bombed factory. The spokesman attacked the United States for supplying “Phantom” and “Skyhawk” aircraft which he said were enabling Israel to bomb our homes and factories and kill our children.

Observers said the attack was sure to increase pressure, for similar retaliatory strikes against Israel. About 700 civilians are reported to have been killed so far in the long series of Israeli raids on Suez, and for the past month the Israelis have been bombing targets deeper in Egypt. President Nasser, whose own residence lies within a few miles of the target of the attacks, said in a fervent speech the Israeli raids would only double Egyptian ­determination.

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2020