A three-month state of emergency has been declared in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula following the deaths of at least 30 soldiers in two separate attacks on Friday, according to media reports. The emergency measures will reportedly be implemented in the north and centre of the Sinai Peninsula and will include a daily curfew from 5 pm to 7 am.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also declared a three-day mourning period across the country after holding an emergency meeting of the National Defense Council on Friday, according to local media reports. Authorities also reportedly declared the closure of the Rafah border crossing, which is the only route to the Gaza Strip not controlled by Israel.
“The army and the police will take all necessary measures to tackle the dangers of terrorism and its financing, to preserve the security of the region... and protect the lives of citizens,” a presidential statement said.
At least 30 soldiers were killed and 29 others wounded in Friday’s attacks on two military checkpoints in north Sinai, making it the deadliest attack on Egyptian security forces since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi in 2013.
As of now, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Egyptian authorities reportedly suspect Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis -- a Sunni extremist group that has previously carried out a number of attacks on the security forces -- to be behind Friday’s attacks.