20 KILLED IN EGYPTIAN AIR STRIKE ON
Egyptian security officials say military helicopters have fired missiles on suspected Islamist militants near the town of El-Arish in the Sinai peninsula, on Monday 08/07/2012 night. Up to 20 people are reported to have been killed (see - El-Arish 02.05.11).The strikes came after security checkpoints were allegedly attacked by gunmen a day eatlier near the town of El-Arish, leaving a number of people injured. Egyptian officials have blamed Sunday's attack on Islamist militants (see - Kerem Shalom Raid). However, Egypt's Muslims Brotherhood has accused the Israeli spy agency Mossad of being responsible. It said the attack was an attempt to undermine the government of Egypt's Islamist President, Mohammed Mursi (see - New Phase) . Israel rejected the claim as "nonsense".Israel wants tighter security in the Sinai, but it does not want that to be achieved with a large increase in numbers of Egyptian troops near its border. Egypt's military sent extra tanks and troops into the Sinai last year, under terms that had to be agreed with Israel under the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries.
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