Egypt launches air strikes after clashes in Sinai

 

Egypt launched air strikes near its border with Israel today
and killed more than 20 suspected Islamic militants, in a crackdown on
jihadists blamed for a deadly attack on Egyptian border police, an army
official and eyewitnesses said.

The air strikes around the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, six miles from the Gaza Strip, followed clashes overnight between armed men and security forces at several checkpoints in the north of Egypt's Sinai region.

Gunmen killed 16 border guards on Sunday in the bloodiest attack on security forces in the tense Sinai region in decades. They seized two armoured vehicles to storm through the border into Israel, where they were eventually killed by Israeli fire.

Israel said Egypt's military action was a necessary response to deal with groups threatening security along the isolated desert frontier.

Witnesses in the town said they saw two military planes fly over the area and heard explosions. Other people near the town said they saw three cars bombed.

Troops entered the village of al-Toumah close to Sheikh Zuwaid as part of the operation after the army received information that Islamist militants were staying there, a military commander in Sinai told Reuters.

"We have succeeded in entering al-Toumah village, killed 20 terrorists and destroyed three armoured cars belonging to terrorists. Operations are still ongoing," he said by telephone.

Israel stepped up pressure on Egypt's government to get a grip on lawlessless near the border. Egypt's army promised harsh retribution for the attackers, branding them "infidels".

There was little sign of an immediate crackdown by Egyptian security forces until Tuesday night when armed men opened fire on several checkpoints in al-Arish town, the main state security and administrative centre for northern Sinai.

Gunmen also attacked checkpoints in Rafah, Egypt's entry point into the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip that borders both Israel and Egypt.

A statement issued by the interior ministry said three policemen and one resident were wounded in those assaults.

Reuters

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before