Militant group claims North Sinai bombing that killed 11 policemen

In a video released Wednesday on YouTube, the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdes claimed responsibility for a North Sinai bombing that killed 11 policemen and injured four others on Tuesday.

Mada Masr could not confirm the video’s authenticity.

The video showed footage of the explosion as a purported group member screams off-camera, “God is the greatest,” as well as weaponry supposedly confiscated by the group after the bombing.

To carry out the attack, the assailants allegedly built a road bump that forced the armored vehicle transporting the policemen to slow, giving them time to detonate the explosive devices, reported the privately owned newspaper Al-Watan.

The vehicle was reportedly transporting two propane tanks that also exploded in the attack, according to Al-Watan.

Tuesday’s bombing may have been a response to the death of Ansar Beit al-Maqdes member Abu Shita, Deputy Interior Minister for special operations Medhat Menshawy told the privately owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. Shita had been a suspect in a kidnapping case targeting soldiers during former President Mohamed Morsi’s administration.

Sinai has been the site of ongoing deadly assaults on police and military targets, a situation that has continued to worsen in the aftermath of the Muslim Brotherhood’s fall from power.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdes has claimed responsibility for a number of high-profile attacks, including an assassination attempt on the interior minister in September 2013, a suicide bomb targeting South Sinai’s security headquarters in October 2013 and an attack on the Cairo Security Directorate in January 2014.

The US Department of State designated Ansar Beit al-Maqdes a foreign terrorist organization in early April, shortly before a Cairo court issued a similar ruling in the same month.

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