‘State of Sinai’, the militant group formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, claimed on Friday that one of its affiliates killed five soldiers as part of the group’s participation in the 28 November ‘Islamic Youth Uprising’.
State of Sinai said it also carried out an attack in Al-Arish, North Sinai, in which it claims its forces “lured” police forces to “Al-Bahr Street and then detonated an explosive device among them, resulting in the killing and wounding of many of them”.
In its announcement, made via social media, the group said its affiliate, the “Abu Abeyda Al-Masry Company”, carried out two attacks in Cairo and Qaliubiya. The first attack, near Gesr el-Suez in Cairo, resulted in the killing of three soldiers, including one officer, while the second attack in Qaliubiya killed a soldier and an officer, according to the group.
The armed forces reported on Friday evening the deaths of Mohamed Ayyad, an officer, and Mustafa Aliyu, a soldier, in Cairo.
A member of the armed forces spokesman’s office denied the deaths of other soldiers as purported by the State of Sinai, adding: “Do not trust anything they say”. He confirmed an attack in Al-Arish on an armoured police vehicle, saying it resulted in the injury of a policeman and two civilians but no deaths, contrary to State of Sinai’s claim.
The Salafi Front had called for mass protests on 28 November, dubbing it the ‘Islamic Youth Uprising’ to demand the implementation of Islamic Sharia Law in Egypt and “defend the Islamic identity” of Egypt. Protests on Friday were limited, with violence breaking out in the Matariya neighbourhood resulting in at least two deaths. The Muslim Brotherhood was among the groups that endorsed the planned protest.
State of Sinai increased its attacks on the security personnel and infrastructure since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. In previous statements, the group has accused the government of harassing the residents of Sinai, and what it describes as the “murder of Muslims” by security forces, holding President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Mohamed Ibrahim personally responsible.
State of Sinai’s name change was announced earlier this month following its pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), which itself changed its name to Islamic State earlier this year. ISIS, which has claimed large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, has slaughtered thousands of people who oppose its radical ideology.
Last week another militant group, Ajnad Misr, which is active in the greater Cairo area, posted a video of seven attacks it claims to have carried out between April 2013 and 20 November, the most recent being a bombing at Helwan University.