Curfew in North Sinai's Al-Arish reduced to 8 hours

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Apr 2015

The 6-month-old curfew in Al-Arish city will be cut by three hours from 26 April

An army check point in North Sinai's Al-Arish city mid-July 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

The curfew in Al-Arish city has been reduced from 11 to eight hours, North Sinai governor Abdel-Fattah Harhour announced on Monday

The curfew will be effective 11pm to 6am starting from 26 April. 

It will remain 11 hours – from 7pm to 6am – in the area surrounding Al-Arish city and in Sheikh Zuweid city, the governor added after talks with the security authorities. 

Al-Arish city is the capital of North Sinai and the scene of numerous attacks by Islamist militants on Egyptian security forces.

Many locals had complained the curfew has negatively impacted their livelihoods.

Twitter hashtag "#Enough_Curfew" and "Enough_Curfew" expressed local opposition to the security measure and detailed the difficulties of living under an 11-hour curfew.

Some said the curfew did not reduce militant attacks.

An 11-hour curfew was initially imposed on 25 October, one day after 31 army personnel were killed in a car bomb attack and 30 others injured in attack claimed by the Sinai-based Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis (ABM), Egypt's most prominent militant group, .

A militant insurgency by jihadist groups in the peninsula has become more active since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. 

Hundreds of police and soldiers, as well as militants, have been killed, and civilians have been caught in the middle. 

ABM has declared responsibility for most of the attacks in the area.

In 2014, ABM declared allegiance to Islamic State (IS), a militant group based in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

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