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Egypt tightens grip on Sinai security, assesses militant threat

Published: Updated:

While continuing assaults on militants in Sinai, Egyptian authorities on Monday announced a tightened grip on security it the restive peninsula.

The heightened security concerns came amid threats from an Islamist group, based in Sinai, which said it tried to kill the interior minister in Cairo last week, the state news agency reported on Monday.

The group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility on Sunday for Thursday’s suicide bombing aimed at Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim. It promised more attacks in revenge for a crackdown on Egypt’s Islamists, raising fears that militant violence in Sinai could spread across the country, according to Reuters news agency.

On Saturday, the Egyptian military launched a major assault on militants in North Sinai, killing or wounding at least 30 people in clashes close to the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The assault continued on Monday, with security forces killing nine and arresting 10 “armed elements” near Sinai cities of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, state news agency MENA reported early on Tuesday, citing security sources.

(With Reuters)