By Nasser Azazi
Armed assailants in Al-Arish killed a police chief Friday night while the former was returning home. Security sources stated that the murdered officer, Mohamad Basyuni, 35, sustained injuries in his head while driving near the Faculty of Agriculture in the neighborhood of Al-Salam in Al-Arish. He was transferred to the hospital, where he eventually died from his wounds.
Unknown assailants also attacked the Al-Safa police checkpoint located along the Al-Arish ring road Friday night. No casualties were reported from the attack.
Security sources stated that the assailants fired on officers manning the checkpoint from a four wheel drive SUV, prompting the officers to return fire, causing the assailants to flee.
Armed assailants fired RPGs at an armed forces armored truck located near the Al-Joura airport in eastern Sheikh Zuweid. A second armored truck was also targeted in the Al-Karama neighborhood in southern Al-Arish. No casualties were reported from either attack.
Unknown assailants were also reported to have fired RPGs at a foreign currency exchange machine located outside one of Banque Misr’s local branches in Al-Arish. Eye witnesses said the assailants drove a black Hyundai Verna. The attack was heard by local residents in the area, prompting police and army tanks to arrive at the scene.
North Sinai security forces were successful in arresting three armed assailants who fired on a Central Security base and radio/television transmission station located in the Al-Musa’id neighborhood of western Al-Arish.
Upon being attacked, security forces fired on the assailants, chasing and apprehending two of them. The third, who sustained injuries from bullet wounds, was later arrested.
A security source stated that the injured assailant was transferred to the Al-Arish military hospital to receive treatment, albeit under intense security.
Security agencies in North Sinai also reportedly transferred 31 arrested assailants, among them Palestinian citizens, to Cairo to be investigated on charges of having launched attacks on military officers and institutions in the Sinai peninsula.
The assailants were flown in a private plane from the Al-Arish airport Friday morning at dawn, after having been arrested in a series of raids conducted by the police and armed forces. The assailants were accused of launching attacks against the military prosecutor, the police officers club and second police station in Al-Arish, in addition to security checkpoints located near the airport.
Sixteen of the assailants were arrested in southern Al-Arish, in addition to eight others, among them Palestinians, who are thought to have funded a number of marches and demonstrations that took place in western Al-Arish in support of former president Mohamed Morsi.
The armed forces engineering department reported that it destroyed a number of underground tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip from Sinai, located within the houses of local residents living in Rafah.
Sources stated that the tunnels were destroyed to prevent Palestinians from illegally entering the country. Eight houses were destroyed in the process, with sources stating that the campaign to find and destroy additional tunnels was ongoing.
Drowning the tunnels out with large amounts of water would be one of many techniques employed by the army, sources said. Military sources further called on all citizens within Rafah to close off all underground tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip in order to prevent instances of smuggling. They concluded saying that those who did not comply would face legal action.