Province of Sinai claims attack on military battalion headquarters in North Sinai

Islamic State-affiliated militant group Province of Sinai alleged that it had carried out an armed attack on the headquarters of Egypt’s Armed Forces Battalion 101 in North Sinai’s Arish on Thursday, claiming it was the base for military operations in the peninsula.

The militant group claimed that four of its suicide bombers carried out the attack, two of whom it said were Egyptian and the other two Palestinian. 

Sinai Province issued a statement on Thursday evening claiming that Abu Khaled al-Masry, Abu Mosaab al-Masry, Abu Shamil al-Maqdisi and Khattab al-Maqdisi carried out an “inghimasi attack” — an attack by shock troops sent into battle with light weapons and suicide vests to fight to their death — at dawn on Thursday, and engaged with forces at the battalion headquarters before detonating their vests, claiming to have caused a number of deaths and injuries among Egyptian military forces.

Egypt’s military spokesperson has not released any statements about the alleged attack as of yet.

Province of Sinai published photographs of the four members it claimed carried out the attack, all of whom appear to be wearing desert camouflage military uniforms worn by Egyptian soldiers, including the Egyptian Armed Forces badge, and carrying AK-47 rifles.

The Egyptian military launched what it said was a comprehensive operation in Sinai earlier this month. Operation Sinai 2018, still ongoing, “aims to eliminate terrorism from the peninsula,” according to statements made by the military in recent weeks.

In the past few months, Province of Sinai has stated that it has recruited a large number of Palestinian members to its ranks, most prominent of which is Sobhi al-Attar, a relative of Hamas’ Qassam Brigades’ leader Raed al-Attar, who was killed during the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014.

A Mada Masr report published last October about Palestinian militants in Sinai revealed that they are often used as snipers and responsible for attacking aerial targets.