An improvised explosive device was detonated at an empty government building in North Sinai on Wednesday as militant jihadist group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for a recent attack on a South Sinai security directorate.
The armed forces spokesman’s office confirmed the attack occurred on Wednesday on a “government building”, denying earlier reports claiming the building was a military intelligence building. The office stressed the building was empty and no longer in use, adding that there were no injuries or fatalities.
The Armed Forces had no information regarding the perpetrators of the attack.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis (Supporters of Jerusalem) published a statement on Islamist Internet forums on Wednesday claiming responsibility for an attack on the South Sinai security directorate in the town of El-Tor on the West coast of the Sinai Peninsula. The attack, which occurred on Monday morning, resulted in the death of three policemen and injured 48 others in the vicinity of the suicide car-bomb attack.
The jihadist group’s statement claimed the attack “was a blow to the heads of evil”. The group said the attack was a response to the killing of “thousands of Muslims, defenceless men, women, children and elderly” during the dispersal of pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Square in Cairo and Giza, respectively.
A series of militant attacks occurred around Egypt on Monday, including the El-Tur Security Directorate attack, leaving eight security personnel dead. The military spokesman’s office said the attacks were not related or “planned simultaneously.”
The attacks came following deadly clashes on Sunday, the 40th anniversary of the October War. The violence on the streets of Cairo and Giza resulted in over 50 deaths.
The armed forces spokesman’s office said that the on-going operations in the Sinai are “going well” and pointed to an operation carried out on Tuesday, which resulted in the seizure of weapons and vehicles and the arrest of “seven terrorist elements” in North Sinai.
Militant attacks on police and military targets increased since former President Morsi’s ouster on 3 July. The armed forces launched what it described as “the biggest operation to purge Sinai of terrorism” in September.