Schools finally open in Egypt's restive North Sinai

Ahram Online, Saturday 26 Oct 2013

More than a month after the official start of the school year, children in North Sinai head back to class despite security concerns

Children on their first day to school in Egypt, 21 September (Photo: Reuters)

Around 533 schools in Egypt's North Sinai opened their doors Saturday after weeks of delay caused by continuous violence in the restive peninsula.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website, around 95 per cent of faculty and staff showed up in addition to 80 per cent of registered students, except in the towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, where only 50 per cent managed to attend to classes due to security concerns.

Public schools across Egypt opened 21 September for the new school year.

A source in the Ministry of Education told Al-Ahram that 25 buses were allocated to transport school employees. In addition, security guards were deployed around schools.

Violence in North Sinai, which already suffered a security vacuum following the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, has soared after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi 3 July.

Since then, militants have stepped up attacks against security forces, prompting the army to launch a major counterinsurgency offensive in the region.

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