Heavy clashes after militants ambush police bus in North Sinai
Published Sunday 13/10/2013 (updated) 14/10/2013 12:25
Egyptian border guards prevent Palestinians from crossing into Egypt
from the Gaza Strip on Jan. 25, 2008. (MaanImages/Wissam Nassar)
El-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- An unspecified number of Egyptian policemen were injured in an attack by armed men on a bus near Sheikh Zuweid in the Sinai Peninsula on Sunday morning.
A Ma'an correspondent said that an unspecified Wahhabi militant group attacked a bus carrying members of the Egyptian police near Abu Taweelah village in the northern Sinai Peninsula, near the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip.
Security sources pointed out that the gunmen set up an ambush in order to entrap the bus after following it. Clashes took place in the area following the ambush.
Due to the ongoing heavy clashes, an unknown number of injured were unable to reach ambulances.
Egyptian armed forces launched large scale military action against militants in the Sinai Peninsula in early September, in what officials described as the largest mobilization of force in the area since the 1973 war with Israel.
At least 2,000 have been killed and more than 3,000 detained across Egypt in the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since Aug. 14, when police forcibly dispersed two protest camps in Cairo's Rabia al-Adawiya Square. The protest camps had been set up in opposition to the July 3 coup by the Egyptian military, which overthrew democratically elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi following mass protests against his leadership.
In the months since, the Egyptian military has stepped up a campaign against militant groups operating out of the Sinai Peninsula, while armed groups opposed to the military have responded violently against the military crackdown. Other armed groups have taken advantage of the relatively lawless situation in the Sinai Peninsula to engage in smuggling and human trafficking.