by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) Aug 6, 2012
Five gunmen who slew 16 Egyptian guards near the border with Israel before crossing into the Jewish state in an armoured vehicle have been killed, an army spokesman said Monday.
"The bodies of the five gunmen have been found by the Israeli army," said the spokesman a day after the incident but did not give details.
An Egyptian medical official said earlier the gunmen in Bedouin attire drove up in two vehicles and opened fire on the checkpoint near the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom in Hebrew) border crossing and opened fire.
The health ministry said 16 soldiers and border guards were killed, while a security official said another seven were wounded.
Egypt's official MENA news agency said the gunmen were "jihadists" from inside the Islamist Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Speaking after an emergency meeting with military officials, the interior minister and the intelligence chief, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi vowed to retake control of the Sinai after the attack.
"The (security) forces will take full control of these regions," Morsi said in a television address.
He had given "clear instructions" that Egypt must take "full control of the Sinai", after the security situation deteriorated markedly following the ouster of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak early last year.
Morsi, who took the oath of office on June 30 to become the country's first freely elected leader and its first head of state since Mubarak's overthrow, said those who committed the "cowardly" attack and those who worked with them would pay dearly.
"Those responsible for this crime will be hunted down and arrested," he said.
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