Egypt's El-Sisi gives PM emergency powers in North Sinai

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 Oct 2014

The cabinet will now issue any further decisions regarding the state of emergency declared in North Sinai Friday

Mahlab with Sisi
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) in a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab (Photo: Handout provided by the Egyptian Presidency)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has given Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab additional powers to act within the context of a state of emergency declared in North Sinai.

El-Sisi issued a decree late Friday establishing emergency law in parts of North Sinai following militant attacks that left at least 28 security personnel dead and around 30 others injured.

Under the state of emergency, Egypt's army and police have the authority to take any action necessary to confront terrorism and protect public and private property in the area.

The state of emergency will last for three months and includes a curfew from 5pm to 7am in concerned areas.

The presidential decree also states that whoever violates its terms will be sentenced to jail in accordance to Law 162 of 1958.

The cabinet will now issue directly any further decisions regarding the state of emergency.

At least 40 Egyptian security forces were killed in North Sinai last week alone, including two attacks on Friday in Shiekh Zuweid and Al-Arish.

The attacks were not claimed by any group. However, Al-Qaeda-inspired Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for previous attacks in Sinai.

The Egyptian army has been facing an upswing in years-long jihadist militancy in the Sinai Peninsula, with attacks expanding to Cairo and the Nile Delta since the popular military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Hundreds of police and armed forces have been killed in attacks, while the army has announced killing and arrest of hundreds amid ongoing ambushes on suspected "terrorist cells" in Sinai.

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