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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Egypt’s military strike in North Sinai after the attacks on the border

Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

After multiply attacks on Egyptian border checkpoints on Tuesday night Egyptian troops hit back early on Wednesday, staging a new operation against militants committed the attacks just a few days after the deadly clashes on Egyptian-Israeli border which left 16 Egyptian soldiers killed.

The tensions in Northern Sinai reached the new heights as Egyptian military forces engaged in battles with the militants in several areas of the governorate, shortly after the multiply attacks on the border checkpoints. The additional military troops and military vehicles and also the military jets were deployed into area. There were many exchanging of fire in many checkpoints, especially in El-Arish. According to the reports Egyptian army was combing the eastern area of the Al-Halal Mountain with the troops and army helicopters hunting the militants who were hiding in that area.

According to the eyewitnesses many attackers were killed and injured during the offensive. Several army and police officer were wounded too, but till now there are no reports about deaths in the military forces. But no accurate death and injury toll have been released yet officially.

Egypt's Sinai, the border
About 20 militants were reportedly killed as a result of Egypt’s military operation, and the military offensive will continue using both the ground and air forces. Several suspected were also arrested in El-Arish and in a few villages of the governorate. Egypt’s Military and Interior Ministry forces also intensified their presence in the area and on the roads leading to the area as well.

The multiply attacks on Egyptian border military checkpoints in Northern Sinai happened just a few days after the terrible attack against the checkpoint along the border with Israel and Gaza, near the city of Rafah. This attack took place early in the morning during the time of prayers and traditional meal breaking the fast in Muslim Holy Month Ramadan. 16 police and military soldiers were killed and 7 were wounded. The military funeral of those killed in the attack took place yesterday in Cairo. Different political forces inside and outside Egypt as well were blaming different sides and powers in committing the attack, Muslim Brotherhood was accusing Israeli intelligent forces, as they had warned about the possible attack in the area. But official Egypt and Israel are agreed that the attack was conducted by the militants from the terrorist network operating on the territory of Sinai.

Cairo, military funeral of those killed in Sunday attack in Sinai
The Northern Sinai sank into the state of lawlessness and instability after the 18-day uprising which resulted in the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Lack of security in those regions provoked the activity of different terrorist cells attacking Egyptian border checkpoints while the local Bedouins conducted several kidnappings of the tourists. Natural gas pipeline which exports gas to Israel and Jordan was also set on fire many times during the last year.
Military funeral in Cairo

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsy accompanied by Defense Minister and Head of SCAF Hussein Tantawy, Head of Intelligence Morad Mowafy and Interior Minsiter Ahmed Gamal El-Deen visited Northern Sinai after the deadly attack on Sunday and inspected several checkpoints in the area. In his speech Morsy urged to eliminate those elements which threatened the national security and to maintain security and stability in the region.