15 Egyptian soldiers killed in attack on army checkpoint

Story highlights

  • Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy vows to capture those responsible
  • "Sinai is safe and fully under control," Morsy says
  • Global Jihad terrorists attempted to infiltrate into Israel, says the IDF
  • Others are wounded in the attack

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy on Monday condemned a deadly attack hours earlier against soldiers at an army checkpoint at the Rafah border crossing in Sinai, vowing "to capture those who conducted this traitorous attack on our sons."

At least 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed and nine others wounded Sunday when masked assailants carried out the attack as the men were breaking their Ramadan fast at sunset, officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces blamed terrorists associated with the Global Jihad group for the violence.

"Terrorists in the Sinai region captured an Egyptian military post ... killed over 10 Egyptian soldiers and took over two armored personnel carriers," IDF said in a statement.

One of the carriers exploded at the border, while the other was attacked as it was entering Israeli territory, it said.

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A gunbattle between the attackers and armed forces ensued, and the Rafah border crossing has been closed indefinitely, North Sinai security official Ahmed Bakr said. More military forces have been deployed to assist.

"Our forces will impose a full control on these areas," Morsy said in an address to the nation. "Sinai is safe and fully under control -- those who did this will pay a high price."

Morsy called on the military council to hold an emergency meeting, state TV in Egypt reported.

Hamas condemned the attack, calling it an "ugly crime." Hamas officials closed all border tunnels connecting Gaza with Egypt in the wake of the attack, according to Tahir Al-Nono, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

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