Cairo: Egyptian police fought gunmen in northern Sinai’s main town of al-Arish on Thursday, state television reported, a day after security forces began a crackdown on Islamist militants in the region.
“Clashes resumed between armed men and police forces in front of police station number two in al-Arish,” Nile News television reported, citing its correspondent there.
It did not identify the gunmen. No further details were available and security officials could not immediately be reached for comment. A correspondent in al-Arish said the town was now calm after the reported clashes.
The army’s security sweep follows an attack on border guards on Sunday by gunmen who then stormed through an Israeli border crossing. Israel said it was a “wake-up call” for Egypt to take a firmer grip on a region threatened by growing lawlessness.
Egyptian aircraft struck at suspected militant targets near the border and troops raided villages on Wednesday after Sunday’s attack in which 16 Egyptian border guards were killed.
The Egyptian army was bringing in extra troops, tanks and other armoured vehicles to al-Arish on Thursday to expand the security operation, a security source said.