Egyp­tian war­planes strike back at mil­i­tants

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD -

Egyp­tian war­planes launched new airstrikes and troops went house-to-house Thurs­day in the trou­bled Si­nai Penin­sula, a day af­ter Is­lamic State-linked mil­i­tants set off the area’s blood­i­est fight­ing in decades in an un­prece­dented, co-or­di­nated at­tack.

The com­bat, de­scribed as “war’’ by the media and of­fi­cials, height­ened ten­sions across Egypt as it marks Fri­day’s sec­ond an­niver­sary of the mil­i­tary’s over­throw of Is­lamist Pres­i­dent Mo­hammed Morsi, a move that fanned an in­sur­gency in north Si­nai that has grown stronger.

It also fol­lows the dra­matic as­sas­si­na­tion this week of the coun­try’s chief pros­e­cu­tor in a car bomb­ing in Cairo, prompt­ing gen­eral-turned-politi­cian Pres­i­dent Ab­del-Fat­tah el-Sissi to press for even harsher anti-ter­ror­ism laws tar­get­ing Is­lamic mil­i­tants.

A spe­cial forces raid Wed­nes­day on a Cairo apart­ment killed nine mem­bers of Morsi’s out­lawed Mus­lim Brother­hood, which re­sponded by call­ing for a “re­bel­lion.’’

Air raids at dawn Thurs­day killed 23 ex­trem­ists just south of Rafah, a key Si­nai bor­der town near the Gaza Strip, Si­nai se­cu­rity of­fi­cials said.

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