Posted by: Chuck | September 9, 2013

Egypt army attacks Sinai Islamists as militancy spreads

CAIRO (Reuters) – The Egyptian army launched an attack against Islamist militants in North Sinai on Saturday, killing at least nine people, security officials said. Radical Islamists in the rugged desert region adjoining Israel, who expanded into a security vacuum left by the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, have been staging almost daily assaults on security forces and other targets. Dozens of tanks and armored vehicles backed by attack helicopters were used in Saturday’s operation near Sheikh Zuweid, a few kilometers (miles) from the Palestinian Gaza Strip, security sources said. The army said nine militants had been arrested.

Since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3, and especially since security forces killed hundreds of Islamists when they smashed protest camps in Cairo on August 14, there have been online calls from Islamist radicals for wider attacks on the state. Egyptian memories of an Islamist insurgency in the 1990s were revived on Thursday when a suicide bomber blew up a car bomb next to the interior minister’s convoy in Cairo. A week ago, militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a ship passing through the Suez Canal on the Sinai’s western edge, vital to world trade as well as Egypt’s depleted state finances.

On Saturday, a bomb exploded at a Cairo police station for the second time in less than a week, state media said, although no one was hurt. In addition, explosives were found on the railway line between the cities of Suez and Ismailia along the Suez Canal, but defused before they could do damage, according to the state news agency MENA. (Source: Reuters News 9/6/13)




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