The Egyptian army has decided to double to one kilometer the depth of the
security belt it is carving out between the Gaza Strip and Egyptian Sinai.
To this end, the Egyptian air force intensified its bombing raids in the border
region Monday. Some 30 houses were flattened after their occupants were given short notice to leave. Witnesses reported thick clouds of smoke rising from the bombed areas of Rafah.
The Egyptian army continued its operations against terrorists in Sinai on Sunday, according to the Egyptian daily Al-Youm al-Sabaa. The paper quoted a military expert as saying that the army would soon eliminate all the terrorists and armed groups. Security forces destroyed 118 places used by terrorist elements along with three large arms caches, by aerial bombing and ground attacks, according to a report in Egypt’s Al- Shorouk on Sunday.
An Egyptian military official says troops and tanks backed by helicopter gunships are sweeping through villages in the northern Sinai peninsula near the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, on the third day of a major offensive against suspected Islamic extremists. At least 20 suspects were killed, 20 arrested in the previous two days.
The official says helicopters struck hideouts of al-Qaeda-inspired militants early Monday in the southern town of Rafah. He said that along with those killed and arrested, a number of militants fled to coastal villages, while others tried to enter Gaza.