One civilian and seven soldiers, including an officer, were killed at a security checkpoint in the North Sinai region of Bir al-Abd on Friday, in a coordinated attack that was claimed by the Province of Sinai, the Islamic State affiliate in the peninsula.
A medical source and a security source told Mada Masr separately that a pickup truck attacked a military checkpoint in Tofaha village south of Bir al-Abd. Armed militants emerged from the car and clashed with security forces manning the checkpoint, killing seven soldiers, including an officer, and injuring five others. The sources said that armed men on motorbikes took part in the attack, distracting soldiers deployed on surveillance towers, and sniping other soldiers from a distance.
The sources confirmed that a civilian was also killed, and five others were injured, including a toddler, who were close to the checkpoint during the attack.
In a statement issued on Friday evening, the Armed Forces outlined operations against militants in Sinai, though they made no mention of the day’s deadly attack.
After the incident, military jets flew over the area at low altitude, while explosions were heard coming from the southern part of the city.
The dead and injured were transferred to Bir al-Abd public hospital, while local mosques called on residents to donate blood. People congregated in front of the hospital in response to the call, according to residents who spoke to Mada Masr.
Province of Sinai claimed the attack in a statement published by Amaq News Agency, the media arm of the Islamic State.
While there have been previous attacks on security checkpoints in North Sinai, Friday’s deadly attack was the first of its kind on a checkpoint in Bir al-Abd, which has increasingly become a battleground between security forces and the Province of Sinai in recent months.