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Sinai Continues to Simmer, Threatens to Boil Over

Tensions are running high in the Sinai between supporters of President Mohammed Morsi and Islamist forces disillusioned by his failure to implement sharia.
Soldiers in military vehicles proceed towards the al-Jura district in El-Arish city from Sheikh Zuwaid, around 350 km (217 miles) northeast of Cairo May 21, 2013. Egyptian army and police forces stepped up roadblocks in north Sinai in a hunt for militant Islamists who kidnapped seven security officers last week, a security source said on Tuesday.  REUTERS/Stringer  (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTXZVMX

CAIRO —  Within the span of a week in late June, the Rafah Central Security Barracks were twice targeted by unidentified gunmen; a rocket landed in the middle of the Sinai; a prominent tribal chief survived an assassination attempt by police forces; and two police sergeants were kidnapped. This string of events casts major doubts on the Egyptian army and the Ministry of Interior's soothing statements insisting that they have control over the restive mountainous peninsula, which has been the site of several significant blows to the country’s national security since the Jan. 2011 uprising.

Meanwhile, the security situation in the Sinai continues to deteriorate as Egypt nears June 30, a day of planned massive protests calling for the ouster of its first freely elected president, Mohammed Morsi, and new elections.

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