15 soldiers killed in checkpoint attack in Egypt’s Sinai

NOVANEWS

By: The Ugly Truth


ed note–the fact that we do not know who the attackers were lends credence to the notion that this is one in a series of Israeli ops meant to destabilize the Sinai as a precursor to Israel launching military operations in reconquering it for herself.
Xinhua

The casualties from a checkpoint attack in Egypt’s Sinai rose to 15 dead and seven injured, local security sources said Sunday.
The attack happened immediately after sunset prayer during Iftar when the troops were suddenly attacked by masked gunmen. After exchanging fire, the attackers escaped and the security forces were still pursuing them.
The sources said an armored vehicle was stolen from the scene. The injured are in serious condition.
Security sources said Jihadists were responsible for the attack and they used automatic weapons in the attack at the checkpoint at Liberty Square, south of Rafah City.
The attackers tried to flee the scene with two vehicles to the Gaza Strip, official MENA news agency quoted a security source as saying.
MENA also said Egypt closed its Rafah crossing with Gaza following the incident.
After the deadly incident, Egyptian President Morsi has called for an urgent meeting with the country’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
Since the turmoil early last year, the security situation in Sinai has deteriorated. Hardline Islamists belonging to Jihad movements attacked police stations while local Bedouins committed several kidnappings of foreign tourists. The pipeline which exported natural gas to Israel and Jordan was also attacked more than ten times.
In late July 2011, dozens of armed men attacked a police station in Arish, capital of North Sinai, leaving six policemen dead and more than ten injured.
RELATED–

Gantz on terror attack: 15 minutes from start to finish

Touring scene of Kerem Shalom crossing attack, army chief praises swift response, cooperation between forces. Egyptian official: Israel violated our sovereignty

YNET 
On the morning after the attack at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the IDF is patting itself on the back for its accurate intelligence and swift assassination of the terror cell which infiltrated Israel Sunday night.
With the threat to the border fence increasing daily, it is becoming apparent that diplomatic cooperation between Israel and Egypt is needed in order to halt the extremist Jihad terror cells in the Sinai Peninsula.
Related stories:
Egypt hunts Sinai terrorists
Barak: Wake-up call for Egypt
IAF strikes southern Gaza; terrorist killed
Egypt’s new Prime Minister Hesham Kandil has stressed that he would work together with the Egyptian army and interior ministry to “avenge the blood of those killed.”
Gantz and Russo tour terror attack site (Photo: IDF Spokesman)
On Monday Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz toured the scene of the attack with Brigadier General Tal Russo who reconstructed the events: “The vehicle met with an (IDF) force at every point it tried to infiltrate,” he said speaking of the Egyptian armored vehicle stolen by the terrorists.
“There were quite a few clashes before (the vehicle) was destroyed. Armored forces, the Air Force and infantry forces closed in (on the vehicle) and eventually it was destroyed from the air and on the ground.
“Those who attempted to escape and fire at the forces after (the vehicle) was destroyed, were also eliminated,” said Brigadier General Russo of the terrorists who tried to escape the armored vehicle.
“On the whole there was a great deal of cooperation together with excellent cooperation between the forces,” he added.
Gantz views blown up armored vehicle (Photo: IDF Spokesman)
Gantz added: “Before the debriefings are completed, I can see that a massive disaster was prevented – a very complex terror attack carried out by terrorists connected between Sinai and Gaza, in a very well carried out operation that combined the intelligence forces, Air Force, armored ground forces, infantry and the Shin Bet.”
Rafah surrounded
According to the chief of staff, the handling of the incident was amazing in that the entire episode was over within 15 minutes and within that timeframe everyone integrated to work together seamlessly.
Meanwhile, Egyptian media reported that Egyptian army units have “completely surrounded” the city of Rafah (on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza) as part of the effort to apprehend suspects in the terror attack that killed 16 Egyptian policemen and injured about seven others Sunday evening.
In a report published on Al-Ahram’s online edition Monday morning, a security source is quoted as saying that Egyptian army helicopters, accompanied by ground forces, have launched a manhunt for the suspects in the deadly attack on an Egyptian police station in the northern Sinai Peninsula, near the border with Israel.
The forces have surrounded Rafah to prevent the suspects from escaping, the report said.
Also Monday, Egypt’s minister for parliamentary affairs Mohamed Mahsoub has demanded that the Sinai security arrangements be reexamined following the terror attack near the Kerem Shalom border crossing on Monday.
Mahsoub, who made the statement in a tweet, added that “Egypt would regain its honor on every centimeter of its land.”
Hamdeen Sabahi, who placed third in the Egyptian presidential elections as the revolutionists’ candidate, criticized Israel for attacking terrorists inside Egyptian territory. He said Israel acted with complete disregard for Egypt’s sovereignty in the region.
Sabahi also called for a reexamination of Egypt’s security arrangements with Israel, which he claimed was needed in order for Egypt to maintain full sovereignty over Sinai.

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