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Sinai attack presents Egypt's Morsi with first security challenge (+video)

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(Read caption) Local residents react to militant attack on Egyptian soldiers in Sinai.
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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi vowed his nation’s military will regain “full control” of the Sinai Peninsula following an attack on Egyptian border guards that left at least 16 people dead and seven injured yesterday.

The attack is Mr. Morsi's first security crisis, and also poses a diplomatic challenge – his predecessor, ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, worked closely with Israel on security matters in the Sinai. Israeli officials have made repeated warnings about deteriorating security in the area since the Egyptian revolution.

Militants dressed in traditional Bedouin clothing reportedly attacked Egyptian border guards as they stopped work at sunset to break the Ramadan fast. The militants managed to then hijack armored vehicles and sought to launch a cross-border attack against Israel. The fighters breached the border before Israeli forces stopped them, killing the eight attackers. Mr. Morsi has already met with the military leaders to discuss a response.

“Those who carried out this crime will pay dearly,” said Mr. Morsi, according to the Guardian. “Clear orders have been given to our armed forces and police to chase and arrest those who carried out this assault on our children. The forces will impose full control over these areas of Sinai.”


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