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Egyptian government mourns Sinai martyrs' families

Prime Minister Hisham Qandil vows that government will work with the military to achieve retribution for those killed on Sunday

Ahram Online, Monday 6 Aug 2012
Egyptian wounded soldier
In this Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 photo, an Egyptian wounded soldier lies on a hospital bed in El Arish, in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula. (Photo: AP)
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Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil promised a "harsh response" to Sunday evening's attack by unknown assailants on Sinai-based Egyptian border guards that left 16 dead, in a press statement Monday.

The Egyptian premier also vowed to work together with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to achieve "retribution for the martyrs' blood."

The cabinet issued a statement on Monday expressing condolences for the families of those killed, while President Morsi announced three days of mourning. 

The bodies of soldiers arrived to Almaza Military Airport from Rafah in Sinai and transferred to a military hospital in Cairo. According to official military sources, the time and place of the funerals have yet to be confirmed.

On Sunday evening, attacks by unknown assailants on Egyptian border guards in the Sinai left at least 16 dead and seven injured. According to media reports, The attack reportedly involved a military vehicle, reportedly hijacked earlier, which exploded at around 7pm. Others were injured after the attackers opened fire on them.

Israel's defence minister Ehud Barak said on Monday that Israeli forces subsequently killed eight of the gunmen after they tried to breach the border area.

No group has claimed responsibility yet, although Egyptian government sources are pointing the finger at 'Islamists.' Investigations into the attack have been opened and are now underway.

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