Egyptian army in Sinai 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer)
An Egyptian security source said on Saturday that five gunmen were killed by the
military, the state-owned MENA news agency reported. This follows an
announcement by the Egyptian military saying it is planning an imminent
offensive in Sinai against hardline Islamist terrorists.
actions comes after suspected jihadists killed an Egyptian police officer and
wounded a second in an attack on a checkpoint in the peninsula on
Terrorists have staged almost daily attacks on security
checkpoints in Sinai since the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed
Arab daily Al-Hayat reported on Friday that the Egyptian military
decided to go ahead with a plan of “cleansing” Mount Halal in Sinai, which
houses “armed gangs and terrorists.”
Such an operation would include
artillery and air power in order “to resolve the battle
However, the army would first give the Islamists a chance to
Meanwhile on Friday, an Egyptian military helicopter briefly
crossed into Israeli-controlled airspace over the Gaza Strip. Security sources
in Egypt and Israel both described the flyover as a navigational
“The helicopter mistakenly crossed into Gazan airspace and
immediately returned to Egypt,” the Israeli security source said. Witnesses in
Gaza said it stayed on their side of the border for about 10 minutes before
Separately, Egyptian authorities arrested three Palestinian
gunmen on Friday during “an attempt to attack vital sites in Sinai,” Egyptian
state media reported.
Egyptian daily Al-Ahram
reported on Friday that
Sudan thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons and ammunition into
Another step reportedly taken by the Egyptian army to quell
terrorist attacks in the peninsula was closing the Rafah border crossing between
Egypt and the Gaza Strip “indefinitely,” according to an official source talking
to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, denies Egyptian
accusations that it has an armed presence in Sinai.
It remains unclear
when such an offensive will take place, as the military is heavily focused on
maintaining order in the streets of Cairo, where its tanks are deployed,
following Morsi’s overthrow.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this
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