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Military

Moscow Urges Egypt to Ensure Tourist Safety in Sinai

RIA Novosti

20:04 09/08/2012 MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia expects the Egyptian authorities to ensure an adequate level of security for tourists in the course of the antiterrorist operation on the Sinai Peninsula, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The Egyptian army said on Wednesday it will continue the crackdown on extremist groups in the Sinai Peninsula to restore regional stability.

“We hope that as a result of the counterterrorism measures... the situation on the Sinai Peninsula will return to normalcy and an adequate level of security will be ensured,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The ministry also warned Russian tourists in Egypt against traveling outside resort area in the Sinai.

Egypt fired missiles at suspected militants on the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, following an attack on security checkpoints at the weekend, al Jazeera television reported, citing military officials.

Some 20 people were killed in the strikes, which followed clashes between gunmen and Egyptian security forces near the town of al-Arish, officials said.

The violence comes after 16 Egyptian border guards were killed in an attack on Sunday that Egyptian officials blamed on Islamic militants.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi pledged earlier this week to retaliate and several gunmen have been killed since Sunday's attack.

Egypt has shut down its border crossing with the Gaza Strip, as it hunts the remaining gunmen.

There has been an increase in violence on the peninsula since a popular uprising toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year. One of the checkpoints involved in Wednesday's clashes has been attacked 28 times since the 2011 uprising, the state-funded Middle East News Agency said.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of al-Arish after the clashes calling for state protection.



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