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Egypt: state of emergency in South Sinai and Suez, Gaza border closed

Egypt has announced a state of emergency in the provinces of South Sinai and Suez following an attack early Friday on the El-Arish airport.

rafah crossing closed 2013 07 05Enlarge
The closed gates of the Rafah crossing point with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on July 5, 2013. (SAID KHATIB /AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt has announced a state of emergency in the provinces of South Sinai and Suez following an attack early Friday on an airport in the town of El-Arish, 40 miles south of the Gaza border, by suspected Islamist gunmen, the Guardian reported.

The attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at army checkpoints guarding the airport, sources told Reuters.

In addition, medical sources told Reuters  that unknown gunmen shot dead two Egyptian police officers in front of a government building in El-Arish.

The Egyptian army also closed the Rafah crossing on the Gaza border until further notice, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.

In Rafah, rockets were fired on a police station, killing one soldier and wounding two more.

The Rafah crossing is the only Gaza Strip exit for most Palestinians, according to Ma’an.

It is not clear whether the attacks were coordinated or are in response to the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi two days ago.

More from GlobalPost: Troops reportedly kill 3 during pro-Morsi rallies on Egypt's 'Friday of Rejection'

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/130705/egypt-state-emergency-south-sinai-and-suez-gaza-borde