The Egyptian Army announced, on Tuesday, the death of two soldiers and 18 armed men, after an armed attack on a military checkpoint in North Sinai (northeast of the country). Army Spokesman Colonel Tamer Al-Rifai, said: “The forces succeeded in thwarting an attempt to attack a security checkpoint in the Bir al-Abd area.” Al-Rifai added, in a statement posted on Facebook, that “The forces of the security checkpoint, in cooperation with the Air Force, chased the elements… killing 18 of them, one of whom was wearing an explosive belt.”
A spokesman for the armed forces confirmed: “The destruction of four vehicles, three of them booby-trapped,” and “the death of two armed forces and the injury of four others while performing their national duty.” No armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, although Wilayet Sinai (loyal to ISIS) regularly launch similar attacks. Earlier, tribal sources and eyewitnesses said that the attack started by detonating two booby-trapped vehicles in military Camp 118 in the village of Rabaa, on the international road Qantara-Al-Arish. This explosion was followed by heavy shooting from several directions on the camp by dozens of armed men.
The sources confirmed the arrival of a number of soldiers’ bodies to Bir al-Abd Hospital, and that two wounded people were also transferred to Ismailia Governorate (east Cairo), and that additional ambulances came from the city of Arish (the capital of North Sinai Governorate) to evacuate the victims. During the past weeks, bloody attacks have returned to the surface after a relative lull in the North Sinai governorate.
In February 2018, a joint military and police force launched a massive military operation, Operation Sinai, to eliminate militants, without succeeding in extending its control over the peninsula. During its operations, the forces demolished a number of homes, extended the attack on the residents of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, and arrested hundreds of people in the Sinai governorate, while armed groups killed hundreds of army and police personnel.