President Sisi extends state of emergency in North Sinai for 3 months

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 May 2016

The extension, the seventh since August 2013, is awaiting approval from parliament

El-Sisi and army commanders
File Photo: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, center, speaks in front of the state-run TV ahead of a military funeral for troops killed in an assault in the Sinai Peninsula, as he stands with army commanders in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has extended a state of emergency in designated areas of the North Sinai governorate for three further months, the state's official gazette reported.

The initial decision to impose the state of emergency came in August 2013 by then-interim president Adly Mansour after violent unrest gripped the country following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The decision has since been extended for three months at a time, with the latest in January 2016.

The most recent extension was made due to the “dangerous security circumstances” that the governorate is facing.

The emergency measures are to be applied in areas including the region from the east of Rafah Hill to El-Awga west of El-Arish.

The decision, which was initially to be applied on 29 April, will take effect after parliament approval. The renewal of the state of emergency had previously been applied automatically, as the country was without a parliament since 2012.

A night-time curfew – from 7pm (17:00 GMT) to 6am (04:00 GMT) – will be imposed in these areas, though El-Arish and the international road from the El-Midan checkpoint and the entrance to El-Arish city from the west will see a four-hour curfew starting from 1am until 5am, or until further notice.

The decree states that any citizen found in public during curfew hours will be imprisoned according to a 1958 law.

Egyptian security forces are grappling with an Islamist insurgency based in parts of the North Sinai governorate that spiked following the 2013 ouster of Morsi.

The insurgency has killed hundreds of Egyptian security personnel, while the military has said that hundreds of militants have been killed in security operations in the area.

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