By Nasser Al-Azazi and Hassan Ghoneima
Three improvised explosives devices went off in Sinai on Wednesday, one of them slightly injuring a top military commander.
An explosion took place in the city of Al-Hasna targeting a procession of vehicles from the Third Field Army, led by Commander Osama Askar. There were no substantial injuries as a result of the explosions which left four security men with cuts and bruises including Sayed Abdel-Kerim, Askar’s assistant. Askar ordered that they are moved to the military hospital in Suez for treatment.
The procession included five vehicles and it is believed that the drivers of a pickup truck without license plates, which passed by the procession, are the ones who planted the explosive device.
Armed forces have cordoned off the area surrounding the site of the explosion in order to find the perpetrators.
In the city of Rafah, another explosion targeting an armoured police vehicle left four policemen injured with shrapnel wounds. They are receiving treatment in Al-Arish General Hospital.
Another explosive device was detonated in an empty government building in North Sinai. The explosion did not cause any injuries or fatalities.
At least eight security personnel were killed on Monday as a result of two separate militant attacks. One of the attacks involved a suicide car bombing targeting a police building in El-Tor, South Sinai. It left three policemen dead and around 50 injured. Militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for the South Sinai attack on Wednesday. The group said it carried out the attack in a “blow to the heads of evil.” Five suspects believed to be responsible for the attack were arrested on Thursday after security forces cordoned the desert area surrounding El-Tor.
The more deadly of the Monday attacks involved firing automatic weapons at army personnel on the Salheya road in the Sharqeya governorate which left five soldiers dead. Also on Monday, in Cairo’s Maadi suburb, unknown assailants fired rocket propelled grenades at communications satellite dishes, damaging one, AFP reported. No casualties were reported.
Security measures are being ramped up by the Suez Canal, with checkpoints being placed in all roads and pathways near the canal.
On Monday, Cairo International Airport security announced a state of security alert and said increased security measures will be implemented soon, including placing small devices that detect explosives from a long distance along the roads that lead to the airport.