Egypt Indefinitely Closes Rafah Crossing With Gaza Strip

Move comes after Islamist gunmen stage multiple attacks on Egypt security forces two days after army overthrew Islamist president Morsi.

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Egypt has indefinitely closed the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip following attacks on security forces in northern Sinai, a security official said Friday.

The crossing was opened in 2011 following the ouster of Egyptian president Hosny Mubarak, whose administration opposed the Hamas rulers in Gaza, and helped Israel to enforce a blockade on the enclave.

Early on Friday, Islamist gunmen staged multiple attacks on security forces on Sinai two days after the army overthrew elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The security sources said a soldier was killed and two were wounded when a police station in Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip came under rocket fire. The police post is close to the local headquarters of military intelligence.

Earlier, attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at army checkpoints guarding El Arish airport, close to the border with the Gaza Strip and Israel, in the latest of a string of security incidents in the lawless region, the sources said.

It was not clear whether the attacks were coordinated and in reaction to Morsi's removal. Islamist militants believed to have links to al Qaeda have established a foothold in the sparsely populated desert peninsula, sometimes in league with local Bedouin smugglers and with Palestinian militants from Gaza.

Palestinians walk toward the Egyptian border crossing with Gaza in Rafah, Egypt, Friday Aug. 10, 2012.Credit: AP



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