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Egypt airstrikes target militants in Sinai region

Egypt airstrikes target militants in Sinai region
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Egypt has launched airstrikes near its border with Israel, killing more than 20 suspected Islamic militants.

The attack, 10 kilometres from the Gaza Strip, was an apparent retaliation for the shooting of 16 border police guards on Sunday.

Following the strikes, crowds of Egyptians took to the streets near the border crossing at El-Arish.
Residents called for greater government protection in an area that’s become increasingly volatile.

The airstrikes also followed clashes between armed men and security forces at several checkpoints in the north of the Sinai region on Tuesday.

After last year’s uprising, the Sinai peninsula that borders Israel is said to have fallen into increasing lawlessness. Militants are suspected of taking advantage of the instability to carry out Sunday’s attacks.

The mass shooting of Egyptian border police officers has spurred new President Mohamed Morsi into action. He’s promised to bring the Sinai region back under government control.

Both Israel and Egypt have begun filling in smuggling tunnels, originally set up to send food and petrol to the Gaza Strip. Militants are suspected of making use of them to carry out their attacks.