A military checkpoint near the Israel-Sinai border crossing.
The Egyptian military fired missiles into Sinai for the first time since the 1973 war with Israel, killing 20 Islamic militants accused of attacking security checkpoints 30 miles from the Gaza-Israel border.
The counterattack followed one Sunday in which militants killed 16 Egyptian border guards before entering Israel, where they were killed in an Israeli missile strike. Suicide belts were found on the militants’ bodies.
Officials say six people were wounded in the checkpoint attacks including a military officer, two soldiers, two policemen and a civilian whose condition was described as critical.
Israel welcomed the Egyptian military action. “What we see in Egypt is a strong fury, a determination of the regime and the army to take care of it and impose order in Sinai because that is their responsibility,” senior defence official Amos Gilad told Israel Radio.
“This is an Egyptian action that is being handled by the Egyptians on the basis of the information they have. If they don’t remove and uproot [the threat], it will continue to strike.”