Egypt’s president has met with military and security officials after suspected Islamic militants killed 16 Egyptian police officers in an attack on a checkpoint near the border with Israel.
President Mohammed Mursi blasted the attack as “cowardly” and vowed to take back full control of the Sinai peninsula.
It is his the first major security test for since taking up office at the end of June.
The attack took place at the Rafah crossing which is also close to the border with Gaza. Masked gunmen dressed as bedouin opened fire with guns and rocket propelled grenades. At least seven other officers were injured.
Israel said the attackers then tried to smash through the border in two vehicles at Kerem Shalom. One of the vehicles blew up and the other was destroyed by the Israeli airforce, killing several of the attackers.
Egyptian state TV said the Rafah crossing has now been closed. A search is underway for any other gunmen who may have escaped. Civilians in the area have been advised to stay in their homes.