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Officer killed in North Sinai’s Rafah - Daily News Egypt

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Officer killed in North Sinai’s Rafah

“State of Sinai” claim Al-Arish attacks on Tuesday

An army office was killed in a shooting in Rafah, North Sinai Wednesday morning, state news agency MENA reported.

The attack comes after Sinai-based militant group “State of Sinai” claimed  responsibility for two other  attacks in Al-Arish on Tuesday morning killing a civilian and  a security officer, while leaving more than 45 injured, according to a North Sinai resident and several media outlets.

The first attack, a suicide bombing, targeted a security camp in Al-Masaeed in Al-Arish. “State of Sinai” claimed to have killed and injured tens of security personnel in the security camp.

The attack left a civilian dead and 43 security personnel injured. The second attack targeted a military vehicle in south Al-Arish leaving an officer killed and 7 injured, state-run MENA reported.

The Ministry of Interior did not confirm the number of deaths and injuries in their Tuesday statement regarding the attack.

The attacks come days prior the Economic Summit in Sharm Al-Sheikh in South Sinai, which starts on Friday.

Militant activity in the restive peninsula has been the rise since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The armed forces along with the interior ministry launched a “war against terrorism” following series of attacks and explosions claimed by “State of Sinai”, formerly Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, and other groups in North Sinai and across Egypt.

The Sinai-based group has previously claimed two of the largest attacks in North Sinai, the most recent of which was on 29 January, where they targeted security facilities and personnel in Al-Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid killing “hundreds”, according to the group’s statement.

The other large attack was in late October 2014, which left at least 30 security personnel dead.

Following the latter attack, security measures were taken including the creation of the buffer zone in Rafah, closure of Egypt-Gaza border and a limited state of emergency in certain areas in North Sinai.

Egyptian authorities open the border occasionally to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. It had been closed since mid-January when it was opened for three days in both ways. It was reopened on 9 and 10 March with the number of transits reaching 2,372, according to Deputy Head of Rafah crossing Sherif Abdallah.

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