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In brief: Egypt to create buffer zone along Gaza Strip

From Wire Reports

EL-ARISH, Egypt – Egyptian authorities on Tuesday ordered residents living along the country’s eastern border with the Gaza Strip to evacuate so they can demolish their homes and set up a buffer zone to stop weapons and militant trafficking between Egypt and the Palestinian territory, officials said.

The measure comes four days after militants attacked an army post, killing at least 31 soldiers in the restive area in the northeastern corner of the Sinai Peninsula. After the attack, Egypt declared a state of emergency and dawn-to-dusk curfew there. Authorities also indefinitely closed the Gaza crossing, the only non-Israeli passage for the crowded strip with the world.

The buffer zone, which will include water-filled trenches to thwart tunnel diggers, will be 500 yards wide and extended along the 9-mile border.

Islamists lose voters in Tunisian elections

TUNIS, Tunisia – Tunisia’s well-organized Islamists have been defeated in parliamentary elections, paying the price for their turbulent years of power after the Arab Spring that saw the rise of terrorist groups in this North African nation.

Voters sought security and stability with familiar faces from Tunisia’s more authoritarian past, but the Islamists’ substantial weight in the new parliament will make them a player in any future government.

Results from the official election commission were trickling in, with only 10 Tunisian districts reported by Tuesday. But exit polling and statistical sampling of voting station results by observer groups have produced a remarkably uniform picture with the liberal party Nida Tunis (Tunisia Calls) taking an estimated 35 percent of the seats of the parliament, giving it the right to form a governing coalition.

The Islamists came second with around 25 percent of the seats, a major drop from the 42 percent they held in the outgoing parliament.

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