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Egypt's Army Masses In Sinai To Quell Militant Attacks

Egyptian forces prepare to deploy to the Sinai Penninsula in the city of Rafah, some 350 kilometers northeast of Cairo, on August 9.
Egyptian Army troops are massing in the Sinai Peninsula as part of a campaign to quell deadly violence by Islamist militants near the border with Israel and Gaza.

Bedouin tribal leaders in Sinai pledged their help during a late night meeting on August 9 with Egypt's interior minister.

Their pledge came after the Bedouin leaders demanded to see the bodies of slain militants who have attacked security checkpoints near the border with Gaza and Israel since August 5.

Military trucks carrying dozens of armored personnel carriers could be seen overnight rolling eastward through the town of El-Arish, where Islamist militants have established a presence in villages near the border.

The deployments -- the first of their kind since 1973 -- come after Egyptian state television reported that military helicopters and soldiers killed 20 militants early on August 9.

Egypt's new Islamist president, Muhammad Morsi, has vowed retaliation in Sinai for a militant ambush on August 5 that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP