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'Cairo seeks green light from J'lem before striking Sinai militants'

July 11, 2013 10:30

'Times' reports Egypt army seeking to bolster presence in Sinai; in latest violence, gunmen attempt to assassinate military commander.

Egyptian tanks arriving in Sinai city of Rafah

Egyptian tanks arriving in Sinai city of Rafah 370 (R). (photo credit:Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters)

The Egyptian army is seeking to suspend the Camp David peace accord with Israel, which restricts Cairo's military presence in northern Sinai, The Times of London reported on Thursday.

Hardline Islamist groups based in North Sinai have exploited the collapse of state authority after the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak to launch attacks across the border into Israel and on Egyptian security targets.

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The violence has risen since last week's overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military.

According to the report, due to the rising attacks by Islamic extremists in the lawless peninsula, some voices in Cairo are calling for a review of the military annex of the peace treaty which puts some limitations on the Egyptian army in Sinai.

In the latest related violent attack, gunmen in northern Sinai attempted to assassinate the commander of Egypt's Second Army, General Ahmed Wasfy, by launching an attack on his vehicle, an Egyptian army spokesman posted on Facebook.

According to the statement, the army arrested the driver of the car used by the gunmen, but the other suspect escaped. Speaking to Egyptian media, Wasfy said that he was not injured in the attempted assassination.

On Tuesday night, two people were killed and six wounded when Islamist militants attacked an Egyptian security forces checkpoint using rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns in the lawless North Sinai province, security sources said.

It was not clear whether the casualties were civilians or security personnel in the attack in the remote village of Sadr El-Heytan, located in the center of the province.
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