Egypt vows crackdown after attack
Egypt has promised to launch a crackdown following yesterday’s massacre that strained Cairo's ties with both Israel and Palestinians.
It described Islamist gunmen who killed 16 police near the Israeli border as "infidels”
An Egyptian official has said "Jihadist elements" crossed from Gaza into Egypt before leading the assault on a border station.
They then stole two armoured vehicles and headed to nearby Israel, where they were killed by Israeli fire.
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said today that eight assailants died in the attack, adding that he hoped the incident would serve as a "wake-up call" to Egypt, long accused of losing its grip in the desert Sinai peninsula.
The bloodshed represented an early diplomatic test for Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist who took office at the end of June after staunch US ally Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year in a popular uprising.
Egypt's military, which still holds many levers of power in the most populous Arab nation, called the attackers "infidels" and said it had been patient until now in the face of the instability in Sinai.
"But there is a red line and passing it is not acceptable. Egyptians will not wait for long to see a reaction to this event," it said in a statement.
Addressing a parliamentary committee in Jerusalem, Mr Barak praised the work of Israeli forces in blunting yesterday’s attack, with the Israeli airforce swiftly swinging into action and destroying one of the vehicles after it breached the border.
"Perhaps it will also be a proper wake-up call to the Egyptians to take matters in hand on their side in a firmer way," he said.