One soldier and two civilians were wounded on Monday in an exchange of gunfire between armed militants and Egyptian Armed Forces personnel responsible for securing a gas station in central Arish.
A private car carrying armed militants fired from a distance at soldiers stationed at a gas station near Midan al-Nasr in central Arish, according to a source who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity. In the exchange of gunfire between militants and security forces that ensued, one soldier was injured by shrapnel, the source added.
A medical source confirmed to Mada Masr that the Arish General Hospital also received two civilians who were shot during the incident, adding that one of them sustained serious injuries and is currently being treated in an intensive care unit.
According to an eyewitness, after the crossfire ended, Egyptian security forces on 23rd of July Street shot cautionary rounds into the air in all directions, causing panic among residents, who crowded into side streets as shops were closed.
Since the launch of the Armed Forces’ Operation Sinai 2018, a comprehensive military campaign that began in February, all gas stations in North Sinai cities have been shut down. With the establishment of a voucher system that allows residents to refuel their vehicles, Armed Forces personnel have been stationed to secure every gas station in the governorate.
Monday’s attack was the first of its kind since the beginning of the operation, which has largely resulted in a significant drop in the number of civilian deaths and kidnappings in Arish.
The Amaq News Agency, the media arm of the Islamic State, published photos of the Province of Sinai’s attack on a checkpoint in western Arish last Saturday, which resulted in the death of four armed militants and four soldiers, as well as the injury of 10 police officers.
Earlier this month, former Islamist parliamentary candidate Samy al-Kashef was killed in front of his house in the Salayma area of Arish, near the town’s main Rifai Square, after militants shot him as he was entering his home.