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Egyptian army launches airstrikes on villages near Gaza

Egyptian military apache helicopters this morning launched several air strikes at bedouin villages in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, near the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Al-Resalah newspaper said.

The newspaper reported activists in the Egyptian city of Rafah saying that the strikes targeted Al-Mahdiya, Rafi'a, Al-Midfana, Al-Moqata'a and Al-Hilwa. These villages are located in the east and south of the city of Rafah and Shiekh Zowayid.

Egyptian activists based in Sinai Ihab Salim said the apache helicopters launched at least ten rockets at unidentified targets in Rafah and Sheikh Zowayid causing a state of fear among civilians.

Salim said that the two apaches continued flying in the skies of Egyptian Rafah and they fired gunshots towards houses from time to time.

Witnesses in Palestinian Rafah reported hearing explosions and gunfire. They said the Egyptian military fired their AK-47s along the border between Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

Al-Resalah reported activists in Sinai saying these strikes come ahead of an expected massive security campaign against the villages. They said that the second Egyptian field army, which has a large presence in Sinai, is expected to carry out these campaigns.

The Egyptian army has been carrying out massive military attacks against cities and villages in Sinai, imposing a complete media blackout and preventing human rights activist from accessing these areas since the coup that toppled President Mohamed Morsi in July 3, 2013.

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