Egypt

Egypt to Increase Pressure on Sinai

Militants have strongholds in parts of the peninsula

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Egypt's military said on Wednesday it would broaden its offensive against militants in the Sinai Peninsula, a campaign that has raised concerns in Israel about the movement of heavy armor into the area near its border.

After militants attacked and killed 16 border guards on 5 August, Egypt launched an operation using the army and police to raid militant hideouts, arrest suspects and seize weapons, including rockets and other arms, that are rife in the area.

Disorder has spread in Sinai since President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year. Analysts say Islamists with possible links to Al-Qaeda have gained a foothold. This has alarmed Israel.

But Israeli officials have also privately voiced concerns about heavy equipment being sent to an area where there are restrictions on weapon deployments under a 1979 peace treaty.

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