Egypt sent extra troops to Sinai – days after seven members of its security forces were kidnapped there.
26 armoured vehicles and several military helicopters were deployed to the city of el-Arish.
The Sinai peninsula has become increasingly unstable since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago.
One el-Arish resident told euronews
that Egypt’s competing power blocks could be at the root of the unrest:
“The target now is the Egyptian army because it is the most powerful Arab army, and they want to break it. The Muslim Brotherhood came via the Americans to divide the Arab world,” the resident said.
Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi, a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the government will explore all options to get the kidnapped soldiers released – except negotiating with the abductors.
Euronews correspondent Mohammed Shaikhibrahim reported from el-Arish:
“Targeting the Egyptian army raises many questions about who benefits from trying to force the military to engage in Egypt’s complex political situation at this time – especially in the border area, which is particularly sensitive in terms of security,” Shaikhibrahim said.