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Sisi extends state of emergency in Sinai

Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi has ordered the extension of the current state of emergency in the Sinai Peninsula for a further three months, a presidential statement said on Saturday.

According to the statement, the extension took place on Sunday and mainly covers northern Sinai. The state of emergency and curfew were first announced last October as a reaction to an attack that left 30 security personnel dead in the peninsula.

The Egyptian cabinet, headed by Al-Sisi (who deposed elected President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013) agreed to the extension.

Despite the strict security grip over the peninsula and the continuous demolition of homes, attacks against Egyptian security personnel there are still frequent.

The attacks have so far caused the deaths of 63 Egyptian soldiers and policemen in recent months.

Jihadist organisation Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which recently announced its affiliation to ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the attacks against the army and police staff.

Sisi previously stated that the crackdown operation in Sinai has led to the killing of several Beit Al-Maqdis members.

However, eyewitnesses, including journalist and expert in Sinai issues Ismail al-Iskandarni, have maintained that almost all the deaths caused by the Egyptian army have been among civilians, including children.

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