World Bulletin / News Desk
A group of armed men shot dead a tribal leader and his son on Monday in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on the border with Israel, a security source said, as violence escalated on the sixth day of a military crackdown in the area.
"Tribal leader Khalaf Al-Menahy and his son were shot dead by militants on their way back from a conference organised by tribal leaders to denounce militancy," said the security source in Sinai.
The attack occurred during a security sweep that began on Wednesday after the killing of 16 Egyptian border guards on Aug. 5, which Egypt blamed on gunmen.
The military operation is the biggest in the region since Egypt's 1973 war with Israel.
Another source close to gunmen in Sinai said hundreds of them had organised a secret meeting on Sunday night to discuss their response to the killing of five suspects by Egyptian soldiers earlier on Sunday.
"They agreed that the reaction will be harsh," the source said.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi dismissed two top generals on Sunday, quashing a military order that had ruled the transition period after Mubarak and curbed Mursi's presidential powers. Last week, he fired North Sinai's governor and Egypt's intelligence chief.