BEIRUT

Middle East

Egyptian Islamists vow revenge against Israel for Gaza killings

TOPSHOTS Palestinians pay their final respect to the Salafist leader Hisham al-Saedini during his funeral procession at Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on October 14, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS)

CAIRO: An Islamist group in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel said on Tuesday it will take revenge against the Jewish state for the killing of Palestinian militants in Gaza at the weekend.

Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on security forces in Sinai and the Israeli border since the ouster last year of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had worked closely with Israel to secure the border region.

Egypt's new president, Mohamed Mursi, has vowed to restore order, but efforts to impose central authority in the desert region are complicated by the indigenous Bedouin population's ingrained hostility to the government in Cairo.

"We, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes group tell the Jews that the blood of our brothers in Palestine is ours and their revenge is ours... So wait for our painful reply and revenge," the group said in a statement posted on Islamist websites.

An Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian militants, including the leader of an al Qaeda-affiliated group in the Gaza Strip, on Saturday. Three other militants were killed on Sunday.

The Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes (Supporters Of Jerusalem) group had claimed responsibility for several attacks on Israel from Sinai.

 

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