BEIRUT

Middle East

Egypt closes Gaza border after clashes in Sinai

A helicopter flies overhead as soldiers in military vehicles proceed towards al-Jura district in El-Arish city from Sheikh Zuwaid, around 350 km (217 miles) northeast of Cairo May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

CAIRO: An Egyptian official says the country's border crossing with Gaza Strip in northern Sinai has been closed indefinitely, citing security concerns.

The decision comes hours after suspected Islamic militants attacked four sites in northern Sinai, targeting two military checkpoints, a police station and el-Arish airport, where military aircraft are stationed.

The military and security forces responded to the attacks. One soldier was killed and three were wounded.

Gen. Sami el-Metwali said Rafah passage was shut down on Friday. He didn't say when it would be reopened. Some 200 Palestinians were turned back to the Gaza Strip after the order.

The clashes came two days after the military's ouster of President Islamist Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Some Islamist elements have pledged to fight the military's move.

 

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