A series of attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians along Egypt's northern border has killed seven people and rattled nerves in the region. The attacks, which the Israeli military said originated in Gaza, came from a lawless section of Egypt that has been left virtually devoid of police since the revolution there in the spring. As The New York Times points out, "that would make them the first violent attacks inside Israel that were directly tied to the political upheaval in the Arab world this spring." The Times explains what happened:

The first attack took place around midday in a sparsely populated desert area close to Israel’s border with Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula, as gunmen opened fire on an Israeli bus. Shortly after that, the Israeli military said, assailants fired an anti-tank missile at a private car and, in a third attack, detonated a roadside bomb next to Israeli soldiers patrolling near the border with Egypt.

The Israeli military pursued the bus attackers, who fled in a car, by helicopter. "The military spokesman said there was initial contact between the Israeli forces and the attackers." Israeli forces patrolled throughout the area, and The Times reported sporadic shooting. Egyptian media reportedly quoted officials there who denied the attacks came from Egypt.