Friday, July 5, 2013

Jihadists attack number of Egyptian security posts in Sinai

You didn't think things were going to get better fast in Egypt, did you?

The story comes from The Long War Journal.

Jihadists attack number of Egyptian security posts in Sinai

Only a couple days after Mohammed Morsi was ousted as Egypt's president, Islamist gunmen in the Sinai staged mulitple attacks against security forces in the Sinai. At least one soldier was killed in the attacks, according to press reports.

The Associated Press reports:

The first coordinated assault by Islamic militants since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi came in the lawless Sinai Peninsula. Masked assailants launched coordinated attacks with rockets, mortars, RPGs and anti-aircraft guns on el-Arish airport, where military aircrafts are stationed, as well as the Central Security camp in Rafah and five military and police posts.

According to Daily News Egypt, at least three military helicopters were seen flying around the areas of the attacks in search of those responsible.

Journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy reported on Twitter that a security official says Egyptian authorities have "information [that] Jihadists from Gaza have entered Egypt in past 24-hours." Fahmy also tweeted that one jihadist was arrested following the attack and admitted that Sinai jihadists were coordinating with Gaza-based jihadists. The jihadist, according to the security official, said that the jihadists "shaved their beards, heads, using army/police uniforms to move around easily." In addition, the officer said the jihadist confirmed that jihadists "plan to kidnap foreigners and security personnel in North/South Sinai."

On Thursday, unidentified gunmen shot and critically injured a security officer in the Sinai, according to Ma'an News Agency. And last Saturday, unidentified gunmen shot and killed a senior security officer in the Sinai.

Earlier this week, Egyptian security sources warned that jihadists were prepared to target security installations if Mohammed Morsi was overthrown as president of Egypt. In Israel, authorities are also concerned that the current instability in Egypt will create a vacuum for jihadists to carry out large scale attacks.

Following today's attacks, authorities announced that they were closing the border crossing with Gaza indefinitely. In addition, the army also announced they were "on alert" in the south Sinai and Suez, not yet a state of emergency. Reinforcements will reportedly be deployed in the Sinai in the coming hours.

The Egyptian army recently increased troop deployment along the border with Gaza in coordination with Israeli authorities.

Last August, 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed in an attack by jihadists at a Rafah military outpost. Egyptian authorities have thus far failed to announce what group was responsible for the attack. Egyptian media outlets have suggested that senior members of Hamas were involved, however. Hamas has vehemently denied the allegations.

1 comment:

Findalis said...

I wonder if Egypt is going to descend into civil war the way Syria has?

Just one thing, the anti-Morsi forces have the real weapons.