A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb Wednesday near the North Sinai Police Officers Club in the city of Al-Arish, killing three police conscripts and injuring 10 others, the Ministry of Interior said.
The attacker, an alleged member of the “State of Sinai” militant group, drove a truck and tried to storm into the gates of the club, crashing into cement blocks, which led to the explosion, a representative from the ministry’s media office told Daily News Egypt. When asked about the number of attackers, he said it is not yet confirmed, adding “what we know so far is that the suicide attacker was killed”.
He added that the overall toll of injuries was 10, including four conscripts, a government employee, and five civilians.
Hours after the attack, extremist militant group “State of Sinai” claimed the attack, via affiliated Twitter accounts. The statement said the the attack is a response to the latest arrests of tribal women in Sinai by security forces.
The statement named the suicide attacker as Abu Aisha Al-Masry.
A Sinai resident said that since Tuesday night, heavy rain fell on Al-Arish, which possibly allowed the car to reach the entrance of the club. He added that in cases of rain and floods, checkpoints tend to be less strict. “The blast left serious damage to building and the surrounding of the blasts,” the resident said.
The Governor of North Sinai said in statements that a committee will be formed to evaluate the damages and compensate civilians affected by the deadly blast. Those injured were transferred to a hospital following the incident, with some sustaining major injuries.
Explosives experts surveyed the surrounding areas for other explosive devices, as reported by state media.
Bombings have become a frequent occurrence across Egypt, with militant insurgency at its peak in North Sinai, and other attacks frequently occurring in Greater Cairo and other governorates. “State of Sinai” is the most active group in the Sinai Peninsula.