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Islamist Gunmen Kill 16 Egyptian Soldiers
At least 16 soldiers have been killed and seven wounded in an armed attack on a police station in North Sinai on the border between Egypt and Israel.
Egyptian state television reported that an Islamist militant group was behind the attack.
After the gunfight, the militants seized two military vehicles to attack a crossing point into Israel, the deadliest incident in Egypt's tense Sinai border region in decades.
Israeli aircraft destroyed one of the armoured vehicles and four of the gunmen were killed.
The other exploded as the militants tried to storm the Israeli border at the Kerem Shalom crossing into southern Gaza, a military zone where the Israeli, Egyptian and Gaza borders intersect, an Israeli spokesman said.
Israel's defence minister Ehud Barak called for "determined Egyptian action" to "prevent terror in Sinai".
He told a parliamentary committee on Monday that the cross-border assault would serve as a "wake-up call" for Egypt.
"Perhaps it will also be a proper wake-up call to the Egyptians to take matters in hand on their side (of the border), in a firmer way," he said.
Israel has repeatedly complained about poor security in the Sinai following the overthrow of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak last year.
A demilitarised Sinai is the keystone of the historic 1979 peace deal between the two countries.
But for the past year there has been growing lawlessness in the vast desert expanse, as Bedouin bandits, jihadists and Palestinian militants from Gaza fill the vacuum, tearing at already frayed relations between Egypt and Israel.
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi vowed he would retake control of the Sinai after the attack.
"The (security) forces will take full control of these regions," Mr Morsi said in a television address.
He said had given "clear instructions" that Egypt must take "full control of the Sinai", after the security situation deteriorated markedly following the removal of then-president Hosni Mubarak last year.
State television and Egypt's Mena news agency reported that Egypt was closing its Rafah frontier crossing with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip "until further notice".
Rafah is the only crossing between Gaza and the outside world that is not under Israeli control.
Taher al Nono, a spokesman for the Hamas government, said it was closing tunnels along the border with Egypt immediately.
The attack is an early diplomatic test for Mr Mursi, who assumed office at the end of June.
It may also complicate Egypt's relations with Hamas, the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip that borders Egypt and Israel who are close to Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, if it is shown that Palestinian gunmen were involved.
Israel has accused Palestinian militants in Gaza of involvement in militant activity in Sinai, which has become increasingly insecure since Mubarak was toppled.
Mr Morsi has pledged to get a grip on security in Egypt but has yet to prove he can assert control over an entrenched security establishment.