The situation in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid has stabilised, after the town witnessed one of the toughest battles between militants and the armed forces on Wednesday.
The “State of Sinai” militant group launched the attack at 6.55am on a number of military checkpoints, killing 17 security officers and injuring 13 others. The attack also left “no less than a hundred” militants dead, according to a military spokesman statement.
Following the attack, a military spokesman said in a TV interview on the private channel, CBC, that the army is 100% in control of the situation.
A Sheikh Zuweid resident, requesting anonymity, told Daily News Egypt that the situation is currently better, and that the army is frequently combing the area. He added that security campaigns take to the streets every couple of hours. “The general anxiety among residents has diminished a great deal”.
The resident said that no militant attacks are occurring in the area, but that “they all returned to their dens”.
The North Sinai Governor’s office manager, Brigadier Mohamed Abdel Moneim, said: “Terrorist cells are still in the area [Sheikh Zuweid] and they are still threatening the military, but the armed forces have things under control.”
North Sinai Journalist Ahmed Abu Deraa also told Daily News Egypt that the situation is better. He added that on Friday there were skirmishes, but nothing with the intensity of Wednesday’s attacks.
He also said that as a result of the attacks, around 48 civilian residents were injured and eight were killed. The numbers of civilian casualties, however, could not be officially confirmed.
Colonel Mohamed Soliman at the Sheikh Zuweid police station confirmed that the situation in the area has stabilised. He added that “the usual skirmishes are still going on”.
Sheikh Zuweid police station was under siege for several hours on Wednesday when “State of Sinai” militants surrounded the building. However the military forces were able to break the siege later on the same day.