Al Ahram Online:
In the past two weeks, 39 terrorist attacks have occurred in North
Sinai. In the resulting clashes between armed groups and security
forces, 52 gunmen and civilians and six security personnel have died.
Tensions have also flared at the illegal smuggling tunnels on the border
with Gaza, with one Central Security conscript killed by smugglers on
Monday witnessed the highest civilian causalities, when a bus
transporting workers to the army-operated Al-Arish Cement Company was
attacked. Five were killed – including one child – and 15 were wounded.
... in three recent attacks RPG-7 launchers were used, most likely
smuggled from Libya. The G-7 grenade is capable of penetrating armoured
vehicles and is generally fired at the doors.
The operations have been largely confined to the 40-kilometre area
between Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, extending northward toward Rafah
along the border with Israel and up to the Karam Abu Salem crossing.
Ahram Online spoke to several tribal leaders in the Sinai. A number of
leaders from Sheikh Zuwaid are reluctant to declare a position on recent
developments. Nevertheless, a prominent elder said he was on good terms
with jihadist leaders and that prior to 30 June, these groups had
refused to take up arms against the army. He added that some jihadist
leaders who had previously refrained from entering politics have now
begun to issue fatwas, and with that new groups have emerged such as
"The Legitimacy Brigades" or "The Legitimacy and Victory Brigade." He
added that these groups act independently of the tribes.
At the same time, the tribal source stressed that the situation was
worse than that portrayed by the media. People in the Sinai are
especially worried about "alien elements" who hail from "jihadist"
fighting fronts in North Africa, and the "Asian" Al-Qaeda who continues
to enter Sinai despite tightened security.
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