Egyptian security forces in Rafah, the Sinai peninsula town bordering the Gaza Strip, came under attack Feb. 7 by gunmen believed to be from the radical Islamist group Takfir Wal-Hijra. An officer and a civilian were injured in the two-hour clash, which began when militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at a military patrol. The Rmeilat Bedouin tribe reportedly joined with with the security forces to push back the militants.
According to local officials, members of the same group abducted three Egyptian police officers from Dahaqliya on Feb. 4. Militant Bedouin groups are also thought to be behind a Sinai pipeline blast the following day. Egypt has stepped-up border security after a clash with Bedouin tribesmen in the area during the first week of mass protests in the nation’s cities demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. (Ma’an News Agency, Feb. 7)