Province of Sinai claims attacks that killed at least 7 in Arish, Rafah

The Province of Sinai militant group has claimed responsibility for two deadly attacks in Arish and Rafah that claimed at least seven lives on Sunday, and left dozens more injured.

The first attack in the North Sinai city of Arish was allegedly perpetrated by a suicide bomber who attempted to storm a police station with his explosives-laden vehicle, according to a statement released by the Interior Ministry late Sunday afternoon. Security forces opened fire at the man, prompting the car to explode.

At least five police officers and one civilian were killed in the bombing, while several more were injured, including both police personnel and area residents, the ministry said. Colonel Sherif Manna, the head of the Arish Investigations Unit, is among the dead, a security source told Mada Masr.

The Interior Ministry said it is still working to identify the attacker, who the Province of Sinai says is among its members.

The militant group assumed responsibility for the attack on its purported Twitter account, which it also used to claim another Sunday afternoon attack on the Massoura checkpoint in Rafah. At least one soldier was killed at the checkpoint.

In a third incident this afternoon, the group also claimed to have launched a mortar attack on Armed Forces personnel near the Karm al-Qawadees checkpoint, which in October was the site of one of the deadliest assaults on Egyptian military personnel in recent history. The attack killed more than 30 army officers and soldiers.

Formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdes, the Sinai-based militant group changed its name after it pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in November. The group claims to have perpetuated a series of high-profile, deadly assaults against police and military personnel in Sinai and Cairo since former President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in 2013. The Cabinet declared it a terrorist entity in April 2014.


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