Egyptian tanks and jets to be sent into Sinai against militants

Egypt is preparing to use aircraft and tanks in Sinai for the first time since the 1973 war with Israel in its offensive against militants in the border area, security sources have said.

Plans to step up the operation were being finalised by the new Defence Minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as he visited Sinai yesterday following the killing of 16 border guards on 5 August.

One source said the army planned to attack and besiege al-Halal mountain in central Sinai where militants were suspected to be hiding.