Military forces stepped up in Sinai's Al-Arish in wake of fresh attacks

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Nov 2012

Security operations in North Sinai are being bolstered in the wake of a sharp increase in attacks on the police in the restive peninsula

Egypt's heightened security presence in light of recent militant attacks against security personnel (Photo: Reuters)

In a report published Thursday by pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, a military source in North Sinai claimed that well-planned attacks are being carried out in North Sinai against senior officers who have been leading a campaign against jihadist elements in the peninsula.

On Tuesday, the inspector of general security in North Sinai was shot in Al-Arish, sustaining injuries to his jaw and arm.

The source further stated that there is proof to link the perpetrators of Saturday's attack that killed three policemen and the group that targeted the security head Tuesday.

Late Wednesday, an Egyptian military official announced that a new set of military personnel and apparatus reached Al-Arish, MENA news service reported.

The source stated that it was part of an attempt to assist the police forces in their "intensive campaign against terrorism" that for the past several months has targetted police forces in the peninsula, MENA reports.

In related news, the official spokesperson of the interior ministry denied reports published Thursday by a private Egyptian newspaper stating that Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal El-Din had forwarded a list of names of 7,000 alleged Al-Qaeda militants to President Mohamed Morsi.

The restive Egypt-Gaza border region has witnessed an increase in violence over the course of the past few months, with recurring clashes between security forces and militants taking place.

On Saturday, three policemen in Al-Arish were killed while on duty, which led to an angered response with several police officers staging a protest outside the North Sinai governorate headquarters. In the wake of the killings, the interior ministry dismissed the head of the North Sinai security directorate Sunday.

The ambush on the police officers was believed to be a counter-attack following the killing of three men by security officers the week before.

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