Egypt: terror in Sinai, dozens reported dead in attacks

Coordinated raids kill security forces near Gaza

30 January, 11:51

    A frame of the video published by the Egyptian defense ministry on ground operations in northern sinai last October A frame of the video published by the Egyptian defense ministry on ground operations in northern sinai last October

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO - A wave of coordinated attacks with mortar fire and car bombs on Thursday killed at least 30 people and injured dozens, mostly Egyptian security forces, in one of the bloodiest days in volatile northern Sinai since ex-general Abdel Fatah al-Sisi rose to power.

    The attack, which has not been claimed yet but has been attributed by a number of observers to jihadists based in the peninsula, hit in quick succession three centers of the region, where a group affiliated to ISIS also operates.

    And the death toll is expected to exceed that of an attack - with a subsequent shooting - which killed in Sheikh Zuweid at least 31 people in October - the deadliest in at least a year and a half.

    Sheikh Zuwaid was once again targeted and a dozen of objectives were reportedly struck. Also hit were Arish and the Egyptian side of Rafah, at the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip controlled by Islamists from Hama, eyed with increasing suspicion by the Sisi administration. Among objectives were a military base, the nearby police headquarters and an army residential complex. Checkpoints, a government newspaper office and a museum were also targeted.

    Although the attack has not been claimed, it is likely that the 'Ansar Bait al-Maqdis', the Partisans of Jerusalem, are involved. The main Egyptian jihadist group based in the peninsula has renamed itself State of Sinai as part of a new allegiance to ISIS announced in November.

    The deadly attack in October, which led to the shutdown of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza for two months, pales in comparison to the attack yesterday, as far as its consequences are concerned.

    According to local journalistic sources, the attack amounted to warfare, in a context of ongoing clashes, with a death toll exceeding 40, unofficial sources said.(ANSAmed).

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