State of emergency declared in Sinai as Egypt launches military operation

October 25, 2014 02:52

Two attacks in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which killed 33 security personnel on Friday, has prompted Egypt to declare a three-month state of emergency in parts of North Sinai, where the violence took place, the state news agency reported.

Thirty people were killed in the first attack in the al-Kharouba area northwest of al-Arish, near the Gaza Strip, the sources said. The car bomb attack targeted two armored vehicles at a checkpoint near an army installation, the sources said.

Hours later, gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint in al-Arish, killing three members of the security forces, officials said.

Sisi convened the National Defense Council on Friday evening for an emergency meeting in response to what his office called "a terrorist attack."

Security sources said the communications shutdown coincided with the beginning of a military operation east of al-Arish in response to the attacks. Apache helicopters bombed areas south of the towns of Sheik Zuwaid and Rafah, near the Gaza Strip, which sources said were believed to be "militant hideouts."

MENA said armed forces were "conducting a large-scale combing operation" involving military helicopters and special forces troops, but gave no further details.

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