Egyptian forces come under fire in north Sinai

Maan News Agency | Sept 12, 2011
El-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian army forces came under fire from unidentified gunmen in the northern Sinai on Monday, a Ma’an correspondent said.

Gunmen fired at officers in a bunker at the entrance of the town of Sheikh Zweid. Egyptian forces fired back at the gunmen and clashes erupted in the area, a Ma’an correspondent said.

Two civilians identified as Ibrahim Abu Ziri and Sharif Farraj were critically injured by stray bullets, witnesses said. Both were evacuated to Sheikh Zweid hospital.

The attack comes as Israeli forces patrolling the Egypt border were fired upon late Sunday from the Egyptian side, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

No injuries were reported and the identity of the attackers is unknown.

The gunmen who attacked the Egyptian army bunker are believed to be human traffickers, witnesses said.

Tensions in the Egypt-Israel border region have been tense since unknown militants launched a series of attacks on vehicles in southern Israel on Aug.18, killing eight Israelis.

Israeli forces pursued the attackers over the border into Egypt, killing five Egyptian soldiers and sparking a diplomatic crisis.

In August, the Egyptian army launched a series of crackdowns in the Sinai peninsula against militants operating in the area.

The Sinai is also rife with Bedouin outlaws.

The number of Egyptian forces in the Sinai peninsula is limited by the terms of the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty.



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