Twenty Five police soldiers were killed in Rafah on Monday after an armed attack on two buses transporting Central Security Forces.
Armed individuals blocked the buses carrying the soldiers on the Al-Arish/Rafah road in the Matala region and forced them to pull over, before executing them, according to a military spokesman.
The attackers took the buses and fled into the desert.
All but two soldiers were killed; the survivors were transported via plane to hospitals in the nearby city of Al-Arish.
The attack follows recent violent clashes in Sinai between the army and armed militant groups over the past two months. In August, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were used against the army, and a rocket was fired by Jihadi groups towards Israel.
Although the militant group Al-Jihadiya Al-Salafeya (The Salafi Jihad) has claimed responsibility for attacks in the past, it denied its association with Monday’s attack on its Facebook page, and blamed military intelligence.
Following the attacks, army and police forces ordered a lock down of all the entrances and exits of the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid, in an attempt to apprehend the perpetrators.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) released a statement denouncing the violence, highlighting that 95 security official soldiers have been killed since 30 June, including Monday’s causalities.
The Freedom and Justice Party condemned “the killing of innocent Egyptian soldiers in Sinai” in a statement, and demanded an “extensive investigation to get and punish those responsible.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref said the death of the soldiers in Sinai was to “cover up” the death of 36 prisoners Sunday while Abd el Moneim Abo el Fotouh, president of the Misr Al-Qawia party, called the event a “villainous act of terror.”
The Cabinet called on all parties to renounce violence and demonstrate peacefulness through a Facebook statement.
Additional reporting by Nasser Al-Azzazi