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Egypt's president: Foreign hands behind attack that killed 30 troops in Sinai

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CAIRO — Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi says a deadly assault on an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula that killed 30 troops was a "foreign-funded operation."

PHOTO: In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, holds an emergency meeting of the National Defense Council with top officials after an attack in the Sinai Peninsula, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. The coordinated assault on an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed 30 Egyptian troops on Friday, making it the deadliest single attack in decades on the military, which has been struggling to stem a wave of violence by Islamic extremists since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. El-Sissi, the former defense minister and army chief who overthrew Morsi last year, declared a three-day mourning period. (AP Photo/MENA)
In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, holds an emergency meeting of the National Defense Council with top officials after an attack in the Sinai Peninsula, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. The coordinated assault on an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed 30 Egyptian troops on Friday, making it the deadliest single attack in decades on the military, which has been struggling to stem a wave of violence by Islamic extremists since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. El-Sissi, the former defense minister and army chief who overthrew Morsi last year, declared a three-day mourning period. (AP Photo/MENA)

Roaring in front of cameras on Saturday, el-Sissi said there are foreign powers that want to "break the back of Egypt," without elaborating. He vowed to take drastic measures to uproot the militants and said Egypt is engaged in an "extensive war" that will last a long time.

"There is a big conspiracy against us," he said while standing with army commanders ahead of a military funeral for the slain soldiers and officers.

Egypt declared a state of emergency and imposed a three-hour curfew in the restive northern part of the peninsula after Friday's assault. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

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