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Security forces thwart planned militant attacks in North Sinai  - Daily News Egypt

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Security forces thwart planned militant attacks in North Sinai 

The air force targeted militant leaders after an attempt to bomb police checkpoint 

Egypt’s air force targeted on Tuesday militant leaders allegedly belonging to “Sinai Province” in North Sinai, according to a state-owned broadcaster.

Police forces also blocked an attempt by militants to target a police checkpoint with a bombed car in Al-Arish city in North Sinai on Monday, according to the Ministry of Interior statement.

“Meanwhile, during an attempt by militants to exploit the exchange of fire, a bombed truck tried to storm the police checkpoint, which the [police] forces immediately stopped and bombed it before reaching the checkpoint,” the statement read.

Furthermore, security forces were sent to the area of the checkpoint following the incident.

Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis group declared its affiliation to the Islamic State (IS) group in 2014, and has since then launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.

Throughout 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.

On Monday, the Hasm Movement claimed responsibility for the Sunday attack in Cairo, which led to the deaths of two police officers and to the injury of three conscripts. The unidentified assailants were on a Jeep when they shot the gas tank of a central security force personnel carrier near the Cairo suburb of Maadi early Sunday. The militant group said in a statement that it had planted an explosive device in the Ring Road near the Cairo suburb of Maadi, detonating it when the security vehicle was in close proximity to it, leaving the bombers unharmed. The movement expressed intent to launch more attacks.

The Hasm Movement has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in statements circulated online. The movement has appeared in early 2016. In August, the group had said it was behind the failed assassination attempt of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa. During October of the same year, militants driving a black private vehicle opened fire on army leader Adel Ragaai assassinating him in front of his residence in Al-Obour City.

A state of emergency in North Sinai was first declared in 2013 by then-interim president Adly Mansour, who came into power following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. It has been extended following this year’s extremist attacks on Coptic churches during Palm Sunday.

All over the country, a state of emergency has been declared last April, when the government approved an emergency state declaration for three months after the approval of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. This came following two separate attacks on churches during Palm Sunday prayers, which killed more than 40 people and injured over 100 others.


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