10 'militants' killed in North Sinai security crackdown

Ahram Online, MENA, Thursday 18 Jul 2013

Egyptian army steps up security operations in North Sinai during last 48 hours

File photo: Egyptian army trucks carrying tanks and vehicles, expecting opposition against militants, arrive at Rafah city, some 350 km (217 miles) northeast of Cairo August 9, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

The Egyptian army has killed ten "Islamist militants" in North Sinai over the last 48 hours, a security source told state news agency MENA on Thursday.

The army has reinforced its security presence in North Sinai due to an increase in militant activity since the removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. A number of heavy machine guns have been moved to the region.

On Wednesday, three officers were killed and two injured in an attack by Islamist militants. Last week, at least ten police and army personnel were killed in separate attacks.

The army recently announced it had discovered 39 new tunnels being used to smuggle goods between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Morsi was ousted by the army on 3 July after nationwide protests against his rule. The army, along with a number of political groups, agreed on a transitional roadmap for a return to democracy. High Constitutional Court head Adly Mansour was sworn in as interim president on 4 July.

North Sinai has witnessed a security vacuum since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic president Hosni Mubarak.

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