One person was killed and another was critically injured on Thursday morning after a home in the North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuwayed was hit by artillery shelling, according to local sources.
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Mada Masr that Sheikh Zuwayed residents woke on Thursday to the sound of a loud explosion, finding that a residential property in the Nasayra neighborhood had been shelled. They said that a woman, who they did not name, was killed instantly while her husband, Hassan Abed Rabbo al-Nasayra, was injured, adding that both were transferred to Arish General Hospital. Their home was severely damaged.
This is the second time for shelling to have struck Sheikh Zuwayed this week, the sources said, providing no further details of the previous incident.
In February, shortly after Operation Sinai 2018 was launched with the aim of “ending terrorism” in the peninsula, a family was reported to have been injured in similar circumstances, after a residential area was hit by unidentified shelling in the governorate’s capital, Arish.
While the number of civilian casualties in North Sinai dropped after the military campaign’s commencement, the past six months have seen a spate of civilian deaths at the hands of militants, all following a similar pattern. The attacks have primarily centered around Arish.
As of mid-2017, an estimated 627 civilians had been killed in shootings and shelling in North Sinai since 2013, according to official figures released by the North Sinai Social Security Directorate, while a further 1,247 had been injured.
Families in the isolated coastal cities of Sheikh Zuwayed and neighboring Rafah have been caught in the crossfire between the Armed Forces and militants since 2014. Many have been displaced from their homes, heading to temporary settlements in Bir Al-Abd, or leaving North Sinai altogether.