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Egypt army promises to avenge Sinai attack

07 august 2012, 18:50
0
a vehicle burning near the Kerem Shalom border crossing after unidentified gunmen crossed into Israel from Egypt. ©AFP
a vehicle burning near the Kerem Shalom border crossing after unidentified gunmen crossed into Israel from Egypt. ©AFP
The Egyptian army on Monday promised to "avenge" the deaths of 16 border guards in an assault the previous day on a post near the border with Israel, in a statement issued by state news agency MENA, AFP reports.

"We swear in the name of God to avenge them," the agency cited a Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) statement as saying.

"Egyptians will not have to wait long before they see a reaction to this attack by terrorists," the statement added.

"Anyone liaising with these groups that have attacked our troops in the Sinai in recent months will pay dearly, be it inside Egypt or abroad," it added.

President Mohamed Morsi vowed late on Sunday to boost Egypt's security presence and retake control of the Sinai after gunmen attacked a post near the border with Israel, killing 16 border guards.

They then crossed into the Jewish state in an armoured vehicle. Israel later said five gunmen were killed by tanks and helicopters.

Under its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, Egypt should have a limited military presence in the area.

Israel's top military spokesman, Yoav Mordechai, told army radio on Monday the gunmen were "members of the global jihad based in Sinai, which has become a hothouse for world terrorism because of the weak control exercised" by Cairo.

Morsi said on Sunday he had given "clear instructions" that Egypt must take "full control of the Sinai" after the security situation deteriorated markedly following last year's ouster of long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak.

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