Egyptian parliament approves extension of 'state of emergency' in Sinai

Tuesday 24-05-2016 06:39 PM

Egypt's parliament, the House of Representatives. ASWAT MASRIYA

CAIRO, May 24 (Aswat Masriya) - The Egyptian parliament agreed on Tuesday, with an overwhelming 340 votes, on a presidential decree to extend the state of emergency in Northern Sinai.

The parliament's speaker, Ali Abdel Aal, said that the final decision was in agreement with presidential decree number 187 for the year 2016.

A parliamentary committee drafted a report, directed to the government, with policy recommendations. The committee demanded full care and support for the people of Northern Sinai, including providing them with emergency healthcare and decreasing curfew hours during the holy month of Ramadan.  

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had passed a decree in January declaring a three month state of emergency in the Peninsula.

Sisi had declared a state of emergency and a curfew in October 2014 in the border province for an initial three months in reaction to a militant attack that 33 security personnel killed.

The Islamic State-affiliated Sinai Province group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The state of emergency imposed in a number of areas in Sinai has been renewed several times since.

In parallel, the Egyptian military says it has killed hundreds of “terrorists” in the context of the “Martyr’s Right” military operation which was also launched by the security forces also in response to the Oct. 2014 attack.

North Sinai militants have stepped up attacks targeting security forces since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The Sinai peninsula was liberated from Israeli control in 1982 but is currently at the epicentre of militancy which has surged since July 2013, particularly in the northern part.    

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