Reports from Egypt say 24 policemen were killed on Monday in an ambush in the Sinai peninsula. Their bus was attacked by gunmen near the town of Rafah on the border with the Palestinian controlled territory of Gaza. The Sinai Peninsula has become a dangerous place since 2011. The area has become a safe haven for criminal gangs who kidnap immigrants for ransom, for arms smugglers and for jihadists. It was the scene of heavy fighting in 1973 between Israel and Egypt. Today it hosts an international observer force deployed to monitor peace since the 1979 peace treaty, but the peacekeepers have no mandate and capacity to apprehend criminals.