The Armed Forces has escalated its campaign against North Sinai-based militant groups, killing 40 suspected militants and arresting five others the official spokesperson announced on Tuesday.
As the fighting intensifies, a militant attack targeting a checkpoint in North Sinai killed seven civilians. The spokesperson published footage of the incident on Monday night, showing a military tank intercepting a vehicle packed with explosives. The explosives detonated before the vehicle reached the checkpoint, killing the nearby civilians.
Operation Martyr’s Rights is primarily targeting militants associated with Province of Sinai, Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate.
The campaign escalated after a bombing in early July killed tens of military personnel. The Interior Ministry announced on July 18 that they killed a suspected senior Province of Sinai member, Ahmed Hassan, who they claim was responsible for recruitment.
North Sinai-based media outlets reported that electricity and water services in the North Sinai cities of Arish and Sheikh Zuwayed were cut off after the most recent attack, however locally based Facebook pages have reported that they are now operating as usual. A resident of Arish, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Mada Masr that communications are routinely cut off in the city.
Militant groups in North Sinai have escalated their campaigns against the Armed Forces and police in the area since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.