Egypt extends state of emergency and curfew in Sinai

GMT 03:21 2015 Sunday ,26 April

Arab Today, arab today Egypt extends state of emergency and curfew in Sinai

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Cairo - XINHUA

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi decided to extend the state of emergency and curfew currently imposed on some parts of North Sinai province for more three months, the presidency said in a statement on Saturday.

"The decree will be in effect from Sunday, and according to the decree a curfew will be imposed on the areas where emergency state is declared," presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said in the statement.

Further, the president decided to assign Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab with some of the president's duties as stated by an Egyptian law pertaining to state of emergency, according to the statement.

In late October 2014, Egypt declared a three-month, 14-hour curfew and state of emergency in some parts of North Sinai province following a blast that targeted a big military checkpoint in the province's Sheikh Zuweid city, leaving more than 30 soldiers killed and tens of others injured.

Later in December, the president ordered the night curfew in the restive Sinai Peninsula to be cut by three hours.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian authorities have evacuated over a thousand houses in North Sinai's Rafah city near the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip to create a buffer zone to control and minimize weapon smuggling and terrorism in the peninsula.

Egypt has been witnessing security challenges and unstable political conditions since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military in July 2013, after mass protests against his one-year rule, and the following security crackdown on his loyalists that left nearly 1,000 killed and thousands more arrested.

Since then, militant activities and anti-government attacks have escalated in Egypt and extended from Sinai to the capital Cairo and other provinces across the country, with the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militant group, which has recently declared allegiance to Daesh regional group, claiming responsibility for most of them.

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