Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Egyptian Army launched air strikes with AH-64 Apache helicopters against militants in Sinai.

Clashes intensified in Egypt's North Sinai early Wednesday, August 8, 2012, as Egyptian armed forces launched air strikes with AH-64 helicopters on Sinai militants in response to a series of attacks by masked gunmen on military checkpoints. Egyptian Army Apache helicopters fired rockets at armed militants and there were numerous militant casualties, said Gen. Ahmed Bakr, head of North Sinai security. 

It is thought the attack was in response to the killing of 16 Egyptian police officers on Sunday, August 5, 2012, which was blamed partly on Palestinian militants.

The targets included five security checkpoints and a military cement factory, he said.

"The Egyptian engineers armed forces brigades arrived with heavy machinery, bulldozers, cranes that arrived on flat beds trucks and some equipment has been transported by planes. The operation's objective is (to) block all tunnels used to smuggle illegal products and humans into Gaza. The actual work has not started yet, but they are in the planning process," Bakr said Tuesday, August 7, 2012.

This is the first time Egypt has fired missiles in Sinai since the 1973 war with Israel, when it attempted to recapture the Sinai peninsula, security officials told Associated Press.

"We have succeeded in entering Touma, killed 20 terrorists and destroyed three armoured cars belonging to terrorists. Operations are still ongoing," he told Reuters.

The Egyptian military also carried out helicopter attacks around an area called Sheikh Zuwaid just east of al-Arish, security officials said.

 Asian Defence News

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