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Egyptian Officials Fired After Sinai Killings

  • VOA News

Members of 'Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi' group comprised of official and police guards, try to ride a military police vehicle after a funeral for soldiers who were killed during an attack at a checkpoint along the Sinai border with Israel

Members of 'Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi' group comprised of official and police guards, try to ride a military police vehicle after a funeral for soldiers who were killed during an attack at a checkpoint along the Sinai border with Israel

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has fired his intelligence chief and the governor of North Sinai in a major reorganization that extends to the commander of the military police.

The announcement of Morsi's decision Wednesday comes on the heels of a military operation in the Sinai Peninsula, targeting suspected Islamist militants.




Sinai

  • Sparsely populated 60,000-square-kilometer peninsula
  • Large Bedouin population
  • Strategically located, and contains Egypt's only border with Israel
  • Was occupied by Israel from 1967 to 1982
  • The Sharm al-Sheikh resort, site of frequent peace summits, is on the southern part of Sinai
In a statement read on state television Wednesday, the military said it started the Sinai operation to restore stability and regain control there. Since the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak last year, parts of the Sinai have seen an increase in lawlessness.

Egyptian officials say they killed 20 suspected militants in airstrikes Wednesday, hours after militants attacked security checkpoints about 50 kilometers from the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, militants launched their bloodiest ever attack on the army, killing 16 Egyptian border guards as they tried to cross into Israel.
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