Pentagon official arrives in Cairo to discuss Sinai security

The US assistant defense secretary for international security affairs arrived in Cairo Sunday, leading a delegation on a four-day visit to discuss bilateral cooperation, specifically in Sinai security, with Egyptian officials.

Derek Chollet, the assistant defense secretary, is expected to discuss ways the US can help the Egyptian government battle militant groups in Sinai, secure its border with Israel and prevent weapons smuggling.

Disorder has spread in Sinai since autocratic President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising early last year, with Islamist militants stepping up attacks on security forces and the Israeli border. Egypt's newly elected president, former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsy, has pledged to restore security in the poor desert region.

Earlier this month, three policemen were killed by militants in a drive-by shooting in North Sinai. That incident came amid the largest security crackdown Sinai has seen in decades, as officials have hunted the perpetrators of another ambush that killed 16 border guards on 5 August.

Edited translation from DPA

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