Egypt's Morsi fires officials as renewed violence slams Sinai
August 10, 2012, 12:51 am TWN
CAIRO--Gunmen sprayed a police station in Egypt's Sinai with bullets Thursday, setting off a brief firefight with policemen before speeding away in their truck, the latest in a series of attacks against security forces in the increasingly volatile peninsula, security officials said.
Meanwhile, the military sent additional armored and other army vehicles to boost its strength in a hunt for militants in the wake of a deadly weekend attack that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.
Egypt's president fired his intelligence chief on Wednesday for failing to act on an Israeli warning of an imminent attack days before militants stormed a border post in the Sinai Peninsula and killed 16 soldiers.
The dismissal, which followed Egyptian airstrikes against Sinai militants, also marked a bold attempt by the Islamist leader to deflect popular anger over the attack. It pointed to a surprising level of cooperation with the powerful military leaders who stripped the presidency of significant powers just before President Mohammed Morsi took office June 30.
In a major shake-up, Morsi also asked Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi to replace the commander of the military police, a force that has been heavily used to combat street protests since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak 18 months ago. Rights activists have accused the military police of brutality against protesters.
Morsi also fired the commander of his presidential guards and ordered new chiefs for security in Cairo and the police's central security, a large, paramilitary force often deployed to deal with riots.