News24

Egypt army nets militants in Sinai

2011-08-16 21:10

Cairo - An army crackdown on armed groups in Egypt's lawless north Sinai has netted four Islamist militants as they prepared to blow up a gas pipeline in the city of el-Arish, security sources said on Tuesday.

The military operation - dubbed Operation Eagle - began this week with the aim of quelling an increase in attacks on security forces in Sinai since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising in February.

Sinai's population has a history of resentment towards officials from Cairo, who have struggled to stamp their authority on the desert region bordering Israel.

Those efforts have been hampered partly because of limits on any military build-up there agreed under the 1979 Camp David accord between the two neighbours.

An intelligence official said the initial investigation that prompted Operation Eagle had linked the four militants to an assault on a police station in el-Arish on July 30 in which an army officer, two policemen and three civilians died.

Around 100 armed men rode through the town in cars and on motorcycles that day, waving flags with Islamic slogans before attacking the police station.

"The militants arrested today were linked to that Islamist militant group," the intelligence officer told Reuters.

Tunnels

Other suspects are suspected of links to al-Qaeda while others are members of Palestinian armed groups from Gaza to the north who managed to enter Egypt through tunnels, he said.

The four suspects, caught in el-Arish near a gas pipeline linking Egypt to Israel, possessed explosives and weapons, a security source in the town said.

They were the second arrests since the army operation began. On Monday, troops attacked militant hideouts, killing one gunman and arresting 11 militants, according to security sources.

"Some of these militants hail from the Gaza strip and had infiltrated through tunnels linking Gaza with Rafah [on the border]," the intelligence officer said.

He said an estimated 1 200 to 1 300 armed militant groups and jihadists were making use of the security vacuum left by Mubarak's overthrow.

Many have formed alliances with armed Bedouin tribes who have strongholds in the mountains of Sinai.

Comments
  • Datbrotherfromthestates - 2011-08-16 22:26

    NOW LET ME POST WHAT THIS SITE WITHELD! Cairo (CNN) -- The Egyptian army and police are cracking down in an "anti-terror" operation in the Sinai area of Egypt, state-owned media reported on Tuesday, as reports emerge of Osama bin Laden's doctor surfacing in the area. Police said they found hand grenades, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition in the operation that targets Sinai "terror cells" suspected in attacks on a gas pipeline to Israel and a police station in the border town of el-Arish. Citing an unnamed security official, state news agency EgyNews said authorities are targeting 15 more people who participated in attacks at an el-Arish police station -- some of whom are members of the extremist Jaish el-Islam group, which is affiliated with al Qaeda. The crackdown comes amid new developments on the whereabouts of a bin Laden associate. http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/16/egypt.sinai/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 AND THE FOOLS ANTON AND Slg CONTINUE TO LIE AND CLAIM THAT THESE PEOPLE WANT DEMOCRACY!

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