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Egyptian Government Crackdown Produces More Militants in Sinai

Salafists say the military does not seem to be able to distinguish between ordinary citizens and militants.
An Egyptian army soldier guards with an armoured personnel carrier (APC) near Tahrir Square in Cairo August 19, 2013. Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 24 Egyptian policemen on Monday in the Sinai peninsula, where attacks on security forces have multiplied since the army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi on July 3. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany  (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX12QU2

NORTH SINAI, Egypt — Salafist residents of the Sinai Peninsula, including those who once collaborated with Egypt's authorities to contain a security breakdown that followed the January 2011 uprising, are protesting a wave of persecution that accompanied the security crackdowns on armed groups waging attacks on security personnel and facilities since the July 3 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

The ultraconservative, bearded men complained that the security crackdowns failed to differentiate between ordinary, apolitical citizens who happen to look devout, and members of militant groups attacking the state. They condemned the militant attacks, but harshly scolded the state for unleashing its fury on everyone, including innocent civilians.

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