File photo by Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images.
Egyptian helicopters hit the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday with missile strikes aimed at Islamic militants, a move that came only days after 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed in a surprise attack earlier this week.
The Telegraph notes that the Egyptian airstrikes are the first since 1973 in Sinai. The Egyptian attacks, about 6 miles from the Gaza Strip, killed 20, according to an Egyptian military official in Sinai, who identified the dead as "terrorists." The Egyptian army is calling the retaliation a "complete success."
On Sunday, militants ambushed border guards and killed 16 Egyptian security forces. They stole two armored vehicles and headed toward the Israeli border to carry out another attack, where they were killed by Israeli forces. The Arabist has a good, detailed rundown of Sunday's ambush.
As the Associated Press explains, the border region has been increasingly volatile since Honsi Mubarak was removed from power in early 2011. Militants are apparently better armed than the Egyptian border guards in the region, and have become increasingly bold since the end of Mubarak's reign.