By Ines Bel Aiba | AFP –
Egypt’s army vowed Monday to “avenge” the killing of 16 troops by gunmen near the Israeli border, as President Mohamed Morsi ordered security forces to take full control of the Sinai Peninsula.
In Sunday’s attack, 35 gunmen in Bedouin clothing opened fire on the troops before crossing into the Jewish state in an armoured vehicle, Egyptian officials said. Israel said five gunmen were killed on its side.
The 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, under which Israel withdrew from the Sinai which it had occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, set strict limits on Egyptian troop numbers in the peninsula.
But Israel has complained of growing lawlessness on its southern border since the overthrow of veteran president Hosni Mubarak last year and called for action by Cairo.
“We swear in the name of God to avenge them,” the Egyptian army said. “Egyptians will not have to