Egypt army masses troops in tense Sinai

2012-08-10 09:06
Mohammed_Morsi (AP, File)

Mohammed_Morsi (AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Egypt
    This book is jam packed with all the fascinating facts and information you need to know about Egypt. Now R149.00
    buy now
El-Arish - Egypt's army massed troops in Sinai on Thursday in a campaign to quell increasingly deadly Islamist militants as Bedouin leaders pledged their help in a meeting with the interior minister.

Military trucks carrying dozens of armoured personnel carriers mounted with machine guns rolled through the town of El-Arish heading eastwards, where Bedouin Islamist militants have established a presence in villages near the border with Gaza.

The build up came after state television reported that military helicopters and soldiers killed 20 militants on Wednesday in the first such operation in Sinai in decades, in retaliation for a militant ambush that killed 16 soldiers.

Israel said on Thursday it gave Egypt the go ahead to deploy helicopters in Sinai, easing the restrictions on military presence in the peninsula in a 1979 peace treaty between the neighbouring countries.

At a late night meeting with the interior minister Ahmed Gamal al-Din in El-Arish, roughly 50km west of the Gaza border, Bedouin tribal leaders demanded to see the bodies of the militants reportedly killed on Wednesday.

"We demanded that they present us the bodies, just one or two bodies, so we can be convinced," said Eid Abu Marzuka, one of the Bedouins who took part in the meeting.

Others said they doubted the report, which a military commander in Sinai had confirmed.

The tribal leaders said they had agreed to help the military and police to restore security in the lawless peninsula and close down tunnels used to smuggle contraband and weapons to the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

An elusive enemy

"There was a consensus among the tribes to destroy the tunnels. Let (the Islamist rulers of Gaza) Hamas be upset, we don't care. Egypt should deal with the Palestinians through the Rafah border crossing," said Marzuka.

"We are against smuggling, and against the siege," he added, referring to the semi-blockade Israel imposed on the enclave after Hamas seized it in 2007.

The interior minister said his forces and the military would defeat the militants with the help of the Bedouin tribes, which have been hostile toward the central government they say marginalises them.

"With the help of the people [of Sinai], the mission will succeed," he told reporters after the meeting.

But another senior security official stationed in Sinai acknowledged that they faced an elusive enemy that had the advantage of the peninsula's formidable mountain and desert terrain.

"It will be gradual," he told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media. "The geography, the desert and mountains, will make this difficult."

Sunday's attack on a border guard outpost in which the militants killed 16 soldiers before commandeering a military vehicle into Israel stunned the government and prompted President Mohamed Morsi to sack his intelligence chief and two army generals.

The military said the militants were supported by mortar fire from Gaza during the raid.

After his inauguration on 30 June, Morsi has moved to alleviate restrictions on the border crossing with Gaza and met Gaza leader Ismail Haniya. Egypt shut the crossing after Sunday's attack.

Read more on:    mohammed morsi  |  egypt  |  israel  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Gordons Bay - 18:30 PM
    Road name: R44 Faure Marine Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED at Suikerbossie Drive due to roadworks until 5am - traffic diverted - expect delays
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 18:01 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.