Members of the United Nations Security Council condemned on Monday Al-Arish attack which killed 18 policemen and injured others, describing it as “heinous and cowardly”.
Monday’s attack targeted a security convey passing in the Al-Arish-Qantara International road. The convey included four armoured cars and a signal blocking car, often used to secure high ranking security personnel.
After attacking the convey with IEDs, an exchange of fire took place between militants and security forces. Also reinforcements troops were met by fire and IED bombs, while some ambulance cars and police cars were attacked.
The attack is the largest, concerning organization and coordination, and deadliest compared the 7 July attack in Rafah which killed at least 26 military personnel as militants raided an outpost.
The Islamic State militant group claimed Monday’s attack, in a statement circulated on social media. It said that a suicide bomber blew himself as the convey was passing.
The UN Press centre also reported that the UN Security Council members “expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Egypt.”
Several countries condemned the attack also. The US State Department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, said that her country would “continue to stand with Egypt as it confronts the threat from terrorism.”
Also the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the Coptic Pope also condemned the attack.
The deadly attacks comes after a large scale police campaign on Sunday in Giza, which killed alleged ten militants in clashes with police forces during a security raid on a number of suspected hideouts in three crowded neighbourhoods of Giza, Ard Al-Lewa, Al-Talbyia, and Al-Abyad Street.
The attack took place as Egypt is working on strengthening its military expertise and co-operations. On Sunday, military exercises dubbed “Bright Star” between Egypt and the US kicked off in the newly inaugurated Mohamed Naguib Military Base, with around 200 US military personnel are participating in the drills.
The military and security forces have been fighting against the terror group “Sinai Province”, a group previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, in North Sinai since 2013. In 2014, the group declared its allegiance to the Islamic State group and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
In 2014, the military began working on a buffer zone in Rafah by removing residents’ houses with the aim of securing the borders with Gaza and putting an end to terror.