Sinai, 28 Rabiul Akhir 1434/10 March 2013 (MINA) – Egypt’s interior ministry has raised the state of emergency in northern and southern Sinai, said assistant to the interior minister in Sinai General Osama Ismail, MENA reported on Saturday (9/3).
Ismail said security are on heightened alert in the strategic Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel after they were tipped off that jihadist groups will attack police institutions, according to Ahram report monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
Until this news was released, MINA has not received definitive information about who the jihadists are meant by the Egyptian media.
Western officials believe that foreign jihadis, possibly from Yemen and Somalia, are among the several hundred extremists operating close to the Israeli border in Egypt’s Sinai desert, according to a senior diplomatic source who spoke to the Daily Beast last January.
He also assures that the ministry continues to work with tribal leaders in Sinai to maintain security.
In September, President Mohamed Morsi launched Operation Sinai, a military campaign to combat terrorist groups and restore safety and stability in the peninsula. This came after 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed in an attack on the Egyptian-Israeli border.
Ismail also said that all security services are working in northern and southern Sinai except for the Central Security Forces (CSF) camp in the northern city of Al-Arish, who went on strike.
About 60 police stations and 10 CSF camps are on strike nationwide calling for sacking the interior minister and protesting what they describe as the “Brotherhoodisation of the ministry.” (T/P03/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)