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      Egyptian Soldier Killed in Latest Sinai Violence

      Egyptian soldier killed by unidentified gunmen in the northern Sinai town of El-Arish.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 7/8/2013, 5:45 AM

      Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula
      Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula
      AFP photo

      An Egyptian soldier was killed on Sunday by unidentified gunmen in the northern Sinai town of El-Arish, Al Arabiya reported.

      Earlier in the day, armed men attacked four security checkpoints in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, close to Egypt’s border with Israel and Gaza, part of an upsurge of violence there since Wednesday’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

      Gunmen in pickup trucks exchanged gunfire with soldiers and police in the lawless province in the early hours of the morning, but there were no casualties, security sources told Al Arabiya.

      The Sinai has seen an upsurge in lawlessness since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 that has sparked warnings from Western governments against travel to most parts of the peninsula.

      On Friday, five security officers were killed in skirmishes with Islamist terrorists in El-Arish.

      On Saturday, a priest was also killed there by a group of militants, four other checkpoints were fired upon and an explosion hit an Egyptian pipeline supplying gas to Jordan.

      On Sunday, a senior Egyptian Army official announced a major operation in the Sinai Peninsula following the terror attack on the natural gas pipeline.

      The National Anti-Terror Unit on Sunday issued a travel warning for Sinai, and warned Israelis still there to come home immediately.

      “Given the deteriorating security situation in Sinai, which includes numerous violent clashes between groups, along with intelligence we have received about possible terror attacks,” the warning strongly suggests that Israelis avoid Sinai altogether, including the popular resort of Taba on the border near Eilat.