Egypt, Israel coordinate security to ward off holiday attacks
Egypt and Israel are coordinating security along their shared border after intelligence reports warned of possible attacks by militants in the Sinai Peninsula during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, an Egyptian security official said Thursday, dpa reported.
"Egypt and Israel are taking security measures on their shared border in Sinai as a precaution against infiltration operations or raids by the extremist groups, who often carry out attacks during holidays," the official, who requested anonymity, told dpa.
The four-day Eid al-Adha starts on Friday.
Egyptian forces are also on alert against Islamist extremists sneaking into Sinai through the illegal tunnels that link the border region with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, the official added.
Eyewitnesses near the border in the remote desert peninsula told dpa they had seen increased activity by security forces on both sides of the border, with Egyptian troops searching people and vehicles at fixed and mobile checkpoints.
In August, suspected Islamist militants attacked an Egyptian checkpoint in the city of Rafah, bordering the Gaza Strip, and killed 16 soldiers.
The attack prompted the Egyptian army to launch a high-profile campaign against strongholds of suspected insurgents.
Eighty-eight people, mostly Egyptians, were killed in a bomb attack on the Sinai resort of Sharm al-Sheikh during a national holiday in July 2005.
Suspected militants bombed the Egyptian resort of Taba, near the Israeli border, during a national holiday in October 2004, killing 34 Egyptians and foreign tourists.