Egypt extends state of emergency in North Sinai for three months

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Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has issued a decree to extend the state of emergency in parts of North Sinai for another three months, as of July 29.

The northern part of the peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014 following a deadly attack on an army checkpoint that left 33 soldiers dead. The decree has been extended several times since then as security forces continue to battle insurgency in the region, including once in January of this year, and again in May.

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As part of the emergency, curfews are imposed in some regions in the restive peninsula, mostly located in North Sinai and along the borders with Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Insurgents have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in Sinai since mid-2013, lashing out after then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi following mass protests against his rule. Most attacks have been claimed by an Islamic State-linked group, Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Armed forces and police are have been carrying out operations to confront terrorism and the sources of its funding in recent years, and the Egyptian police and army have claimed many successes in killing and capturing insurgents by conducting raids involving armored vehicles and helicopters. High army and police presence in the region aims to bring security back to the peninsula, providing protection for citizens and land.

Following Egypt’s popular uprising of 2011, a state of emergency in force over the country for 31 years was lifted. The law was introduced following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981, and lasted without interruption through the reign of ousted President Mubarak, said the BBC. The law was heavily criticized by activists throughout that period who claimed that the emergency decree gave security forces free rein to arrest and try suspects.

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