Four civilians were killed by an unidentified shooter in the Samran neighborhood of southern Arish on Saturday, the latest in a string of violent incidents to occur in North Sinai this past week.
Although the identity of the shooter remains unknown, local sources who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity believe military personnel shot the four civilians at a nearby checkpoint, suspecting they posed a security threat.
Ahmed Hassan al-Shatla, Ahmed Ramadan al-Milqah, Mohamed Nabil Attwa, and Medhat Saleh Nawara were transferred to Arish Public Hospital on Saturday evening after sustaining gunshot wounds, according to a medical source in North Sinai who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity.
The medical source added that three of the four victims were dead on arrival, and the fourth died shortly after being transferred to the hospital.
The local sources told Mada Masr that the four men were steel workers from the Fawakhariya tribe, one of the largest tribes in Arish. They had left their workplace and were walking in the Samran neighborhood when they were shot, according to the medical and local sources, some of whom said they believe the gunfire came from a nearby military checkpoint.
In an unrelated incident, one citizen was injured by an anonymous shooter near the dam area of Wadi al-Arish on Saturday and was transferred to Arish Public Hospital in critical condition, according to another medical source in the hospital who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity.
These incidents took place against the backdrop of Operation Sinai 2018, which was launched in February of this year. While the military campaign purports to “end terrorism” in the northern and and central parts of the peninsula, attacks against military personnel have continued.
Most recently, a number of Twitter accounts concerned with following the news of the Islamic State-affiliated Province of Sinai reported on Saturday that the militant group had claimed responsibility for a sniper attack on a member of the Armed Forces near a military base south of the city of Sheikh Zuwayed, although the date of this incident remains unclear.
This news came a few days after a woman was killed and her husband was critically injured on October 18 when their home in the North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuwayed was hit by artillery shelling.
Past months have also seen a sharp uptick in the number of targeted attacks on civilians near their homes. Since June, seven people were shot dead by masked gunmen, all under similar circumstances in the governorate capital.