Cairo, June 12 (IANS/AKI) The Al Qaeda does not have a base in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, according to Abdel Raggah Harhour, governor of the North Sinai region.
But he conceded that Islamist militants were exerting a growing influence in the area.
"We know that there are Salafite jihadist elements in Sinai," Harhour said.
"We have set up roadblocks and fixed and mobile patrols," he said, outlining a plan to restore stability in the peninsula.
The ousting of Egypt's long-term president Hosni Mubarak in a revolt in 2011 emboldened militant Islamists who have carried out a number of attacks in the lawless North Sinai and across the border in Israel.