The Province of Sinai claimed responsibility on Monday for killing a man outside his home in southern Arish, according to Amaq News Agency, the Islamic State’s media arm.
Mohamed Ghareeb, an employee of Arish’s Fourth Precinct Police Station, was shot by gunmen outside his home in the Safa neighborhood of the North Sinai capital on Sunday, according to a security source speaking on condition of anonymity.
This is the seventh such incident in the past four months in North Sinai, which has seen a marked increase in the number of targeted attacks on civilians against the backdrop of the ongoing military campaign in the governorate.
The security source told Mada Masr that the body of Ghareeb, the head of the police station’s administrative and financial affairs department, was transferred to his home governorate of Daqhaliya to be buried.
In September, the Islamic State-affiliated Province of Sinai claimed responsibility for killing three civilians in Rafah’s Barth neighborhood. The group claimed that those killed had been cooperating with security forces in the region.
The spate of deadly attacks on civilians, all of which follow a similar pattern, began on June 9, when unidentified gunmen shot Arish resident Emad al-Bosaily dead outside his home in the south of the city. This was the first incident of this kind since the February launch of the Operation Sinai 2018 campaign.
Two days later, unidentified gunmen opened fire on Mostafa Abu Rania, another Arish resident, outside his home, killing him. Maher Shaaban, an employee of the state-owned North Sinai Radio security department, was killed outside his home in similar circumstances on June 25.
Another civilian, former parliamentary candidate Samy al-Kashef, was shot and killed outside his home in Arish’s Salamaya neighborhood in early August.
There has also been a surge in the number of attacks carried out on security personnel in the governorate. One soldier and two civilians were wounded in an exchange of fire between Armed Forces personnel and armed gunmen in Arish in late August. In early September, a police officer was shot dead by masked gunmen outside a restaurant in the capital’s Rifai Square, where he had been buying food for himself and his colleagues.
In response to the increasing number of clashes and attacks, security forces ramped up security measures in central Arish in early September, and joint police and military units surrounded the neighborhood nearby the Fourth Precinct Police Station for almost three weeks. This area was also the site of a sweep and search operation, in which residents were regularly stopped by security personnel and prevented from leaving or entering the neighborhoods targeted. This mirrors a security operation carried out at the start of Operation Sinai 2018.
The security forces have since left the area around the Fourth Precinct Police Station and moved to the Samran and Fawakhereya neighborhoods in the south of the city.