Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Egyptian cabinet bans use of 4X4 vehicles in army-operations zones in Sinai

Sinai battles

Locals watch as smoke rises from the burning remains of a building and vehicle after a firefight between Egyptian security forces and suspected militants at the al-Gourain Egypt's north Sinai region in 2012

Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued on Sunday a decree banning 4X4 vehicles in army-operations zones in Sinai, as reported.

According to a statement issued by the cabinet, the ban covers all types of 4X4 vehicles - regardless of brand - in the areas designated by the Egyptian armed forces as stages of military operations in North and South Sinai governorates.

The Egyptian army has been waging an intensive military operation against Islamist militants in North Sinai in the past ten days following a 1 July extensive attack by Islamic State group affiliate Sinai Province on multiple army posts in North Sinai, which left 21 army soldiers and officers dead.

Islamist militants have reportedly used 4X4 vehicles in their repeated attacks on security forces. 

Sinai residents have long used 4X4 and other Sports Utilities Vehicles (SUVs) for transportation in the desert-warren peninsula.

The decade-long Islamist militant insurgency in North Sinai has intensified in the past two years following the ousted Mohamed Morsi.

The insurgency has left hundreds of army and police personnel killed.

The army has also announced the killing of hundreds of members of Islamist groups.