Reuters reports: Egypt has indefinitely shut schools in two border towns in northern Sinai as the army prepares to intensify a battle with Islamist militants that turned the daily trip to lessons into a “journey of death”.
Local people say children’s education has fallen victim while the military stages air strikes against jihadists, who are targeting soldiers and police, and have started beheading army informers.
“We are putting our lives at risk on a daily basis,” said Mohamed, a teacher who lives in the town of Sheikh Zuweid. “Sometimes there is fire between gunmen and the armed forces and sometimes stray bullets hit some of us.”
Militancy has surged in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal, since the army ousted an elected Islamist president last summer. At least 33 security personnel were killed last month and one Sinai-based group has pledged its loyalty to Islamic State, which has overrun large areas of Syria and Iraq. [Continue reading…]