Egyptian Army soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in Sheikh Zuweyid, northern Sinai, Egypt, May 2013. (photo credit: AP)
Egypt declared a three-month state of emergency would begin Saturday in the north and centre of the Sinai Peninsula after a suicide car bombing killed 30 soldiers.
The bombing on Friday was carried out by a suspected jihadist who rammed a checkpoint with his explosives-packed vehicle, security officials said.
The emergency measures will begin Saturday at 0300 GMT “for a duration of three months”, the presidency said in a statement in the wake of the deadliest attack on the security forces since the army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year.
The decision was also taken to close the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip, the only route into the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel.
“The army and the police will take all necessary measures to tackle the dangers of terrorism and its financing, to preserve the security of the region… and protect the lives of citizens,” the presidential decree said.
The attack, in an agricultural area northwest of El-Arish, the main town in north Sinai, killed at least 30 soldiers and left 29 others injured, medics said.
A senior army official and five officers were said to be among those wounded.
Gunmen also shot dead an officer and wounded two soldiers on Friday at another checkpoint south of El-Arish, security officials said.
Jihadists in the peninsula have killed scores of policemen and soldiers since Morsi’s overthrow to avenge a bloody police crackdown on his supporters.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who toppled Morsi and later won elections, has pledged to eradicate the militants…
See also: Death toll in bombing of Egypt army post climbs to 30: EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — A coordinated assault on an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed 30 Egyptian troops on Friday, making it the deadliest single attack in decades on the military, which has been struggling to stem a wave of violence by Islamic extremists since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
Officials described it as “well-planned” attack that began with a car bomb which may have been set off by a suicide attacker. Other militants then fired rocket-propelled grenades, striking a tank carrying ammunition and igniting a secondary explosion. Roadside bombs intended to target rescuers struck two army vehicles, seriously wounding a senior officer.
State-run TV said there was an explosion followed by clashes between troops and militants, without providing further details. The attack took place some 15 kilometers from the northern Sinai city of el-Arish, in an area called Karm el-Qawadees…
Sounds bad. Jihadis everywhere one looks.