Shortly after an official visit to North Sinai governorate by both Defence Minister Colonel General Sedki Sobhi and Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar on Saturday, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated on Sunday morning in Al-Arish city killing one police conscript and injuring an officer, according to a statement issued on the Interior Ministry’s official Facebook page.
“In the early hours of Sunday morning, an IED was detonated next to a police patrol at El Masaaied near Al-Arish third district police station. The explosion resulted in the martyrdom of conscript Hossam Ali. First Lieutenant Mohamed El-Sherbiny from North Sinai Security Directorate sustained injuries,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the main aim of the visit by the ministers of interior and defence was to inspect the security checkpoints across different parts of North Sinai and to open a discussion with security personnel to boost morale, according to a statement from an army spokesperson.
“The two ministers arrived at Al-Arish military airport on a military carrier. The city and the surrounding areas saw intensive security measures and all communications were disrupted,” residents from Al-Arish told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity on Sunday.
The defence minister praised the important role of Sinai’s residents in supporting the Egyptian Armed Forces to confront terrorism. Sobhi said that Sinai will soon begin a new stage of reconstruction and development.
North Sinai governorate has been in a state of emergency since the era of interim president Adly Mansour who came directly after the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013.
Recently, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decision to extend the state of emergency for another three months, after it was last extended in January 2016.
Several residents of North Sinai previously informed Daily News Egypt that the state of emergency does contribute to limiting the number attacks against state security forces, but it also interferes with resident’s daily lives due to the disruption of all kinds of communication.
Sinai has become the scene of frequent clashes between militants and state security forces. As a result, an extensive counter-insurgency operation was launched to curb militancy.