World Bulletin / News Desk
The Egyptian authorities have extended an ongoing state of emergency in certain parts of the volatile Sinai Peninsula for an additional three months.
According to Egypt’s official gazette, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab on Sunday issued a decree – effective immediately – extending the state of emergency in several areas of the violence-wracked North Sinai province.
The decree also included the imposition of a nighttime curfew in certain parts of the peninsula.
Last October, following a militant attack that killed dozens of soldiers, the authorities imposed a state of emergency – for the first time – in certain parts of Sinai.
Since then, the state of emergency has been renewed twice.
Since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi – Egypt’s first democratically elected president – was ousted by the military, northern Sinai has become the epicenter of a deadly insurgency that has largely targeted Egyptian security personnel.
In the more than two years since, Egyptian security forces have waged a fierce campaign against militants in the volatile peninsula, which shares borders with both Israel and the blockaded Gaza Strip.
On the same day that the state of emergency was extended, at least 18 policemen deployed in North Sinai were injured by a roadside bomb.
And earlier this month, at least 17 soldiers were killed in coordinated attacks on security checkpoints by militants said to be linked to the Daesh group, which last year overran vast swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory.