Egypt launches Sinai ´air strikes´ (BBC) British Broadcasting Company) 8 August 2012 Last updated at 04:02 GMT)
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Egyptian security officials say military helicopters have fired
missiles on suspected Islamist militants near the town of al-Arish in
the Sinai peninsula.
Up to 20 people are reported to have been killed.
The strikes came after security checkpoints were allegedly attacked
by gunmen in the town of al-Arish, leaving a number of people injured.
On Sunday, 16 Egyptian border guards were killed in the area.
Israeli forces said they later killed at least seven gunmen who broke
through into Israel.
Both Israeli and Egyptian officials have blamed Sunday´s attack on
However, Egypt´s Muslim Brotherhood has accused the Israeli spy
agency Mossad of being responsible.
It said the attack was an attempt to undermine the government of
Egypt´s Islamist President, Mohammed Mursi.
Israel rejected the claim as "nonsense".
Patrols have been stepped up in the Northern Sinai, and Egypt´s Rafah
border crossing to Gaza has been indefinitely closed as security
forces hunt the remaining attackers.
The rising violence in the area is a test of credibility for the
government of President Mursi, the BBC´s Kevin Connolly says.
Israel wants tighter security in the Sinai, but it does not want that
to be achieved with a large increase in numbers of Egyptian troops
near its border, our correspondent adds.
Egypt´s military sent extra tanks and troops into the Sinai last
year, under terms that had to be agreed with Israel under the 1979
peace treaty between the two countries. (© BBC MMXII 08/08/12)
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