Israel Urges Egypt to Bolster Border Security After Sinai Attack

Posted August 6th, 2012 at 1:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Israel is calling on Egypt to step up security along their border after suspected Islamist militants killed 16 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the region on Monday.

He said the suspects were trying to enter Israel to carry out a major terror attack, but he said Israeli forces foiled the plan.

The attack took place Sunday night near the border town of Rafah. The gunmen killed 16 Egyptian soldiers and fled in two Egyptian personnel carriers. One vehicle exploded and Israeli forces destroyed the other.

Egypt responded by closing its Rafah border crossing with Gaza. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi called the attack “cowardly.”

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the attack should serve as a “wakeup call” for Egypt to enhance its security in the region.

Barak told a parliamentary committee Monday that Israeli forces killed eight militants.

Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak last year.

Militants in Sinai have targeted Egyptian security forces, blown up pipelines supplying gas to Israel and Jordan and killed Israelis in cross-border attacks.