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Evacuation of North Sinai buffer zone complete

Governor of North Sinai says evacuation of homes to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip is complete

Ahram Online, MENA, Tuesday 25 Nov 2014
Smoke rises as a house is blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with the southern Gaza Strip November 2, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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The evacuation of homes to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip has been completed, the governor of North Sinai said on Monday.

Areas of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah are to be demolished as part of the Egyptian army's ongoing anti-terrorism campaign.

The evacuation decision was made after a militant attack on 24 October killed 31 army personnel.

Local governor Abdel-Fattah Harhour said the process of monetary compensation for the evacuees was still ongoing, state news agency MENA reported.

He added that 290 families had been compensated, with a total of LE97 million (around $13.56 mn).

A total of 802 houses have been evacuated, accommodating 1,156 families. Although the majority of homeowners agreed to the move, 140 did not, though they were still evacuated.

The buffer zone is one kilometres wide and 14 long.

Egypt's military has been combating a decade-long jihadist insurgency in Sinai, with attacks increasing over the past year. Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed, while the army says it has killed and arrested hundreds of jihadists. Civilians have also been caught in the violence.


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