Thursday, 6 February 2014

Egypt: Army Sweep in the Sinai

Military sources said that 13 jihadi militants were killed in an air strike in northern Sinai. They said that the Air Force launched a series of strikes against militants around the city of el-Arish in northern Sinai, targeting houses, shops, vehicles and other gathering points. The army moved in later to targets near Sheikh Zuweyid and picked up four suspects, two of them Palestinians.

The strikes were in response to the downing of a military helicopter by the Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) which has said it was behind a spate of attacks on security targets.

Militants have increased their attacks since Morsi was ousted as president in July. The group also said it had carried out the attack last month on the gas export pipeline to Jordan as part of a campaign to "target the regime's economic interests".

The Egyptian authorities have in effect cited the attacks as evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organisation - without producing evidence that the Brotherhood is behind the attacks. Once again, clashes broke out after Friday prayers between security forces and Brotherhood supporters in Cairo and Alexandria.

A car bomb targeting a bus carrying Egyptian soldiers wounded three civilians near Rafah in the Sinai, security officials said.

A police conscript was killed by unidentified gunmen in Sharqiya in the Nile Delta. Sherif Bayoumi, 30, and another conscript, El-Tablawi Mousa, 31, were shot at by hooded men riding a motorcycle. Bayoumi died soon after being transferred to hospital, while Mousa is in critical condition. Both victims sustained gunshot wounds to the head, reported Al-Ahram's Arabic website.

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

© 2014 Menas Associates

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