Terrorists Kill 20 Egyptian Soldiers, Fail to Enter Israel
Israel news photo: Flash 90
IDF forces foiled an attempted inflitration by Gaza terrorists Sunday evening in the Kerem Shalom area. The IDF reportedly hit the vehicle from the air and the terrorists in it were killed.
Initial reports from Gaza said that members of an extremist Islamic group attacked two Egyptian army posts in the Egyptian part of Rafiah with anti-tank rockets and gunfire, killing 15 Egyptian officers and soldiers. Al Jazeera later put the number of Egyptian soldiers dead at 20.
They then commandeered an Egyptian military armored personnel carrier (APC) and tried to use it to cross into Israeli territory. Some reports said there were two such APCs.
The IDF has instructed residents of the region to stay indoors and remain alert. In addition, civilians are asked to stay off of Road 232. The IDF said that no IDF soldiers are missing, and no abduction took place.
Egyptian authorities say forces are combing the area with cooperation of Bedouin chieftains.
In addition to the attack on the Egyptian positions and the Kerem Shalom infiltration attempt, dozens of rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel Sderot in an intense barrage.
There have been no reports of casualties in Israel. The rocket and mortar shell barrage seems to have been timed as a distraction, to enable the infiltration into Israel.
According to the Bawaba al-Ahram website, 11 of 20 Egyptian officers and soldiers who died in the attack were killed when a car bomb went off inside an Egyptian military position.
The website reported that members of an extremist group thought to be associated with Al Qaeda drove up to an Egyptian military position in the Al Masoura area at the entrance to Rafiah. They attacked two Egyptian positions with antitank weapons and gunfire and commandeers an APC.
The Al Youm al Saba’ newspaper reported that the attackers hail from a Salafist group called Al Takfir wal Hijra.