Egypt decided late Saturday to extend by three months the state of emergency imposed on some parts of North Sinai since last October following an attack on a military checkpoint which killed 33 soldiers, local media reported on Sunday.

Egypt“The decision will be in effect from Sunday, and a curfew will be imposed on the areas where emergency state is declared,” said a decree published on the Egyptian official Gazette.

The decree, written by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, will be implemented in cities of Rafah, al-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and surrounding areas.

The state of emergency and curfew measures imposed on North Sinai were firstly announced in late October 2014, following a blast that targeted a military checkpoint in the province’s Sheikh Zuweid city, leaving 33 soldiers killed and tens of others injured.

Later, the state of emergency was respectively extended by three months in January and in April.
Egypt has witnessed growing wave of militant attacks since the ouster of the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by the army in response to mass protests against his rule.

The attacks have been mainly centered in the Sinai Peninsula, and then crept into the capital of Cairo and other cities, killing hundreds of security men.

In response, the army has launched a wide-scale operation to uproot the hideouts of the militants and restore stability and security in the Peninsula along with the government’s further measures.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian authorities have evacuated over 1,000 houses in North Sinai’s Rafah city near the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip to create a buffer zone to control and minimize weapon smuggling and terrorism in the peninsula. Enditem


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