EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Egypt's military vowed on Monday to hunt down those behind the killing of its 16 soldiers at a checkpoint along the Sinai border with Israel. It called the attackers "enemies of the nation" and suggested they were Egyptian Sinai-based militants who received Palestinian support from the Gaza Strip.
The violence — which saw the attackers try to break through the border after killing the soldiers — could increase tensions with Israel, which has stepped up pressure on Egypt to clamp down on the lawless border region.
"The armed forces have been careful in the past months and during the events of the (2011 Egyptian) revolution (that ousted Hosni Mubarak) not to shed Egyptian blood ... but the group that staged yesterday's attack is considered by the armed forces as enemies of the nation who must be dealt with by force," said the military's statement.
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