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Egypt's PM bans motorcycles in north, central Sinai for one year

The move comes after repeated attacks on security forces utilising motorcyles

Ahram Online , Saturday 18 Feb 2017
Military vehicle
An Egyptian military vehicle is seen on the highway in northern Sinai, Egypt. (File Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree Saturday to ban motorcycles from restive areas in central and north Sinai for a year, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

The decree outlines the following areas or cities: Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid, Al-Arish, Al-Midan, Maghara, Al-Khatmiya, Sidr Al-Hitan, Qalaat Al-Gindi, and Taba, including Ras Sedr area.

Ismail added that motorcycle spare parts are also barred, so far as this “does not contradict the demands of the national development plan of Sinai.”

Egypt’s army and police forces have been waging a war over the past three years against an Islamist militant insurgency in North Sinai.

Insurgents have killed hundreds of security personnel.

Militants sometimes use motorcyles to attack army and police forces in Sinai and elsewhere.

However, exact statistics of such attacks are unavailable.  

In July 2015, the Egyptian cabinet issued a decree banning 4x4 vehicles in the areas designated by the Egyptian armed forces as stages of military operations in North and South Sinai governorates, following an intensive military operation against Islamist militants at the time.

Islamist militants have reportedly used 4x4 vehicles in repeated attacks on security forces.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree establishing a state of emergency in parts of North Sinai in October 2014, renewed periodically since.

Under emergency law, Egypt's army and police have the authority to "take any action necessary to confront terrorism and protect public and private property in the areas under the state of emergency." A curfew in place lasts from 5pm to 7am.

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