ISMAILIA, Egypt - Egypt's military is deploying light armored vehicles in Sinai to replace some heavy tanks whose presence at the border area had raised concerns in Israel, security sources said on Tuesday.
A source said last week the army had begun withdrawing some of the tanks, after they had been deployed as part of an operation against militants who attacked and killed 16 border guards on Aug. 5.Disorder has spread in Sinai since former President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year. Analysts say Islamists with possible links to al-Qaida have gained a foothold, which has alarmed Israel.
The unrest has occurred mainly in North Sinai, where many people have guns and where Bedouin tribes have long complained of neglect by central government. They say they have seen no benefits from the expanding Sinai tourist resorts.
Hundreds of troops, along with tanks, armored vehicles and helicopters were sent to the area in a joint operation with police to raid militant hideouts, arrest suspects and seize weapons, including rockets and other arms, rife in the area.