One Egyptian army officer died and five soldiers were wounded Wednesday in ongoing battles with Arab terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.
With the agreement of Israel, Egypt has increased its military presence in Sinai in order to fight the rising terrorist presence in the region, including an AH-64-D Apache helicopter to be deployed in the eastern Sinai Peninsula.
Egyptian helicopter over Gaza
An Egyptian military helicopter that flew over Gaza on July 12 for the first time since the 1967 Six Day War. That same day, an Egyptian military officer was killed and another was wounded in an attack by terrorists firing heavy weapons on a security checkpoint in El Arish, Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.
According to Palestinian Authority sources quoted by the World Tribune, the Egyptian Air Force sent the attack helicopter into Gaza to fly low over Khan Younis, Rafiah and other areas, scanning the tunnels and border area. The 2:30 a.m. flight, which lasted nearly an hour, was confirmed by both Israeli and Egyptian security sources, but attributed to a navigational error, according to the report.
Terrorists attacked Egyptian military personnel on Wednesday using mobile anti-aircraft rockets and machine guns in assaults on three army camps near the border with Gaza, according to the pan-Arab Al Arabiya television network.
Loud explosions and the sounds of gunfire was heard near the border town of Rafiah, sources told reporters, as Islamist extremists have advanced their efforts to seize control of the region since the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak in January 2011.
Since the June 30 coup d’etat that recently also unseated former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi, the attacks have spiraled further against military and security positions. At least 13 people have died in the violence, Al Arabiya reported.
Islamist terrorists have also upped their attacks against Egypt's Coptic Christian community, which makes up around 10% of the Egyptian population. Attacks on Egyptian Christians have included the assassination of a priest and beheading of a Christian hostage last week, as well as arson attacks against churches and Christian-owned homes.