Six “terrorists” were arrested in the Egyptian Sinai during a search operation by the army, which followed the attack in which 16 Egyptian border guards were killed, said Friday military and security sources. The “six terrorist elements” were arrested “during joint patrols (by the army and) the police as part of the continued raids against the homes of criminals in the governorate of North Sinai,” the source was quoted as saying by the official MENA news agency.
A security source told AFP that the six men were known to be fundamentalists and they were suspected of belonging to a jihadist group.
The Egyptian army deployed new units in the Sinai Peninsula, following an agreement by Israel, to quell extremist groups after the attack that killed 16 Egyptian border guards Sunday.
However, last night unknown assailants shot at a checkpoint near the town of Al-Arish, causing no injuries, according to security sources.
On the morning of Friday, calm prevailed in Al-Arish and the surrounding area, said a journalist from AFP.
In the city, where armored vehicles took up positions, an army tank was positioned behind sandbags painted in the colors of the Egyptian flag on which was written “victory or death”.
Sunday’s attack has shocked Egypt and led President Mohamed Morsi to sack the chief of intelligence and two generals.
Israel has given the green light Thursday to Egypt to deploy gunship helicopters to help fight against suspected Islamist groups on the Sinai border of the Jewish state, according to an Israeli official.
The Egyptian army has only weakly present in the Sinai due to the demilitarization of this area under the peace agreements with Israel.
Meanwhile, Egypt has decided to reopen for one direction the Rafah crossing to allow Palestinians within its territory to return to the Gaza Strip. The crossing had been closed since the attack on Sunday.