At least one person has been killed in a suicide attack on a military-owned North Sinai cement factory on Tuesday. The Province of Sinai has claimed responsibility for the incident which is is the latest in a slew of militant attacks targeting Armed Forces facilities in the area.
According to the militant group, a suicide bomber identified as Abou Qaqa al-Ansary rushed the entrance on a motorcycle, accompanied by a group of armed militants who opened fire on the factory.
Province of Sinai’s official statement alleges that the attackers killed dozens at the factory and destroyed three vehicles. However, local sources speaking on condition of anonymity told Mada Masr, that one soldier identified as Yehia Gamal was killed after he opened fire on the suicide bomber.
This is the second such incident for which the Province of Sinai, the Islamic State’s Egypt affiliate, has claimed responsibility in recent months. The organization claimed to have carried out an attack on a military-owned factory in Baghdad, North Sinai on September 28 in the latest issue of the official IS publication, Al-Nabaa. There were no reported casualties.
Researcher in jihadist movements at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies Ahmed Kamel al-Behairy tells Mada Masr that Armed Forces were able to detonate a car bomb before the vehicle reached the factory, which he describes as a successful effort to secure the facility.
Al-Behairy believes that militant attacks redirecting from targeting military personnel and vehicles to military-owned business facilities indicates a plan to target sites that hold both martial and economic significance.
“They respond to every military campaign against them by targeting vulnerable business facilities owned by the Armed Forces,” he noted.
Province of Sinai and IS militants have targeted workers associated with Armed Forces project during the last few weeks, attacking vehicles and project sites as well as destroying heavy construction equipment used to pave new roads, all of which were under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority.
IS militants warned workers and drivers not to work with the military, handing them printed statements titled “A Warning and Advice.” In this statement, IS identified military-owned facilities and projects as ongoing targets.