Calm prevails in Sinai after armed clashes

Calm has returned to the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday following a night of clashes between gunmen and the armed forces.

Gunmen attacked Arish airport using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) on Friday, exchanging fire with security forces in the area.


Armed elements also laid explosives and landmines to target military patrols near al-Wahshi electricity station, three kilometres from Sheikh Zuwayed, which provides electricity to the Gaza Strip.

Fierce clashes also took place close to a security checkpoint in Sheikh Zuwayed. No casualties were reported.

In Rafah, bordering the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, assailants targeted a military checkpoint near the city's council building. Gunfire could be heard for around 15 minutes. Again, no casualties were reported.

Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza in both directions for four hours on Saturday.

It will allow humanitarian cases to cross the border, permitting a maximum of 400 people throughout the four-hour period.

Army Apache helicopters have been spotted flying over North and South Sinai on Saturday, reports said.

Security sources meanwhile revealed that the Egyptian army was continuing its work to destroy tunnels linking the Gaza Strip with Egypt.