The armed forces in North Sinai launched an hours-long intensive counter-terrorism military campaign on Saturday morning in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish. Within the campaign, the forces foiled an attack targeting the Abu Tawila army checkpoint based east of Sheikh Zuweid, according to a North Sinai-based journalist who asked to remain anonymous.
The checkpoint is located on the international road east of Sheikh Zuweid. Militants who are believed to be members of the Islamic State (IS)-affiliated “Sinai Province” opened fire on the conscripts based at the checkpoint.
Consequently, the conscripts and officers at the checkpoint responded to the shooting and exchanged fire with the militants. The clashes prevented the attack from being carried out fully and resulted in the killing of three attackers, the journalist told Daily News Egypt.
The failed attack left two army conscripts injured. They were immediately transferred to Al-Arish military hospital, while other backup forces arrived and carried out a security sweep of the surrounding area.
The Egyptian Air Force launched several air strikes south of Al-Arish targeting numerous stationing points affiliated to the “Sinai Province”, according to the journalist.
The army’s media office was not able to confirm the authenticity of the aforementioned incidents and indicated that it is still awaiting information, according to statements released by the army spokesperson’s office to Daily News Egypt on Saturday.
Since 2013, state security forces represented in both the army and police have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.