Battles continue in Egypt's Sinai
Egyptian soldiers pray as they are deployed in the northern Sinai town of Al-Arish on July 16, 2013. (Source: AFP / STR)
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One Egyptian army officer and five soldiers were wounded when gunmen attacked three army camps in the restive Sinai Penenusula, Al Arabiya television reported.
Ahmed Abu Draa, a journalist from Arish, the capital and largest city of the Egyptian governorate of North Sinai, told Al Arabiya that a sweeping military campaign is expected in the area against Islamist militants.
Egypt’s military presence in Sinai is limited by a peace treaty with Israel. Abu Draa has okayed the deployment of more Egyptian forces and hardware in the region.
Reuters reported that the assailants used mobile anti-aircraft rockets and machineguns to attack the army posts near the border with the Gaza Strip.
Loud explosions and gunfire could be heard at the camp near Rafah, the Egyptian town on the Gaza border, the sources told Reuters.
Hardline Islamist groups based in North Sinai, a lawless region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip, have intensified attacks on police and soldiers over the past two years, exploiting a security vacuum following the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
The violence has spiked again since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi this month. Militants have attacked security checkpoints and other targets on an almost daily basis, killing at least 13 people.