Seven positions held jointly by the armed forces and police have been attacked by armed men, whom security forces believe are the assailants that attacked a police station in Arish and blew up the pipeline that exports natural gas to Israel, security sources said.
The most intense clashes erupted in the Reessa area at the eastern entrance to Arish. Armed men riding two motorbikes fired at security forces before fleeing. The exchange of fire continued for an hour.
Security sources said an armed group which carried out an attack in Eilat, in southern Israel, on Thursday are trying to attack at different points in order to still appear strong.
The sources said instructions were given to increase security presence at the Egyptian-Israeli border. Dozens of Sinai residents flocked to the borders, saying they are ready to help protect them.
Meanwhile, yesterday Egypt bade farewell to three of those killed by Israeli fire two days ago. A military jet took conscript Osama Galal Imam to his hometown in Qalyubia, another flew conscript Taha Mohamed Ibrahim to his hometown in Helwan, and policeman Ahmed Galal was taken to Assiut.
Israel fired on Egyptian security forces at the 79 border post – 20km north of Taba – on Thursday, which resulted in the deaths.
An Interior Ministry statement said the incident took place while security forces were combing the borders with Israel in search of elements suspected of carrying out an attack on a police station in Arish.
The statement said the Israeli side fired randomly at an Egyptian security patrol around sunset. Security sources said the unidentified armed group which attacked Israeli soldiers in Eilat managed to sneak into Egypt and hide in a mountainous area. Israeli airplanes attacked them. Israel said the killing of Egyptians happened “by mistake.”
Other sources said an Israeli Apache jet killed the Egyptians after mistaking them for the Eilat assailants.
Meanwhile, underground tunnels at the border have been closed to the movement of goods until the border situation stabilizes.
Translated from the Arabic Edition