Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday claimed responsibility for two attacks on Monday in the North Sinai city of Al-Arish, which left nine people dead.
The Ammaq news agency, which is affiliated to IS, published a statement claiming their troops killed 25 police officers during the attack that targeted two checkpoints in El-Matafy and El-Masieed suburbs in southern Al-Arish.
“An explosives-laden vehicle was parked and detonated near the checkpoint,” the statement read. “The explosion was followed by intensive attacks from IS fighters who blew up two armoured vehicles and killed all who were not killed by the initial explosion.”
On Monday, two attacks hit two police checkpoints in Al-Arish. Both attacks left eight police officers and one civilian dead, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry’s official Facebook page.
The first attack which targeted El-Matafy (fire brigade station) security checkpoint at dawn on Monday was carried out by nearly 20 militants who tried to control the checkpoint south of Al-Arish, the statement explained.
Meanwhile, the statement noted that the militants first opened fire using AK-47 assault rifles against forces stationed in the checkpoint. They also used improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a vehicle laden with explosives, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPGs).
Contrary to the IS statement, the Interior Ministry statement said that security forces managed to detonate the vehicle before it got close to the checkpoint, and in the ensuing gunfight security forces killed five militants and injured three others.
“The first attack resulted in the death of one low-ranking police officer and six conscripts, in addition to a civilian who was accidently close to the checkpoint,” the statement said. “The attack left six conscripts and six civilians wounded, all of which have been transferred to hospitals.”
The Interior Ministry published a video that showed a militant who was driving a garbage truck before being fired upon and killed.
In the same context, Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi continued on Tuesday his periodic video conference meetings with a number of conscripts, officers, and leaders from the armed forces. The meetings started with a minute of silence in honour of the victims of the Al-Arish attacks, according to a statement issued from the official army spokesperson.
During the meeting, Sedki expressed his deep condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks.
The Minister of Defence also praised efforts exerted by members of the third field army in confronting terrorism and foiling a terrorist attack that targeted a number of army checkpoints.