Egypt announced Saturday that it was launching an operation in the Sinai peninsula aimed at restoring the state's security control in the region which has been overrun by terrorist and extremist elements since the downfall of former president Hosni Mubarak last year.
The operation came after a Katyusha rocket was fired from Sinai into Israel on Wednesday, exploding in Eilat. Following Wednesday's attack, Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi revealed that the IDF has thwarted 10 different terrorist plots to attack Israel from Sinai in the past two months.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry stated Saturday that 150 special forces police officers would be deployed in northern Sinai to help increase Egypt's sovereignty in the region, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported. The deployment would be aimed specifically at protecting the pipeline in Sinai which delivers natural gas to both Israel and Jordan. Saboteurs have attack the pipeline 13 times since the uprising against Mubarak began last year.
The police reinforcements were also meant to prevent ambushes on army forces traveling between the cities of El-Arish and Rafah, according to the Egyptian statement.
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