CAIRO - Egypt has transferred the assets of the Al-Arish port in the Sinai Peninsula from a civilian-run agency to the armed forces, citing national security reasons in an area where militant attacks have increased in the past year.

The decision was made last week by then-interim President Adly Mansour but only announced on Monday, a day after former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - who ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July - was sworn in as the new head of state.

The move seemed likely to reinforce critics' concern that Egypt is returning to strongman rule three years after a popular uprising raised hopes of democracy free from military influence.

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