Egypt army raids Sinai; Morsy fires senior officials
By ILENE PRUSHER
After Egyptian military claims to kill 20 terrorists in push to regain control of Sinai, Morsy announces sacking of intel chief.
Egyptian soldiers in Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula Photo: reuters
Egyptian aircraft bombed targets near the border with Israel early Wednesday and troops raided villages in a crackdown aimed at demonstrating that the Egyptian army and the country’s new president, Mohammed Morsy, are able to assert control in the restive Sinai Peninsula following Sunday’s attack that left 16 Egyptian military personnel dead. But widely conflicting reports about the military activity and its reported success are indicative of the increasingly polarized situation in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsy, who was narrowly elected in a run-off vote in late June, has come under a torrent of criticism.
Opponents of Morsy blame him for opening the Rafah Crossing between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai. The lax restrictions, they argue, made it easier for Islamic militants to pass through and enabled them to launch the Sunday evening attack on Egyptian border guards as they were about to break their Ramadan fast. So strong is the apparent frustration with Morsy among some Egyptians that the new president had to absent himself from the massive public funeral procession for his own safety, and his prime minister had to be removed from the scene and rushed to safety by bodyguards. Mourners heckled the premier, shouting, "You killed them, you dog," Egypt’s state-run Ahram Online website reported.
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