On Saturday, there were deaths and injuries among the Egyptian army as a result of the explosion of an armored vehicle, east of the city of Sheikh Zuweid, in the Sinai Governorate (northeast of the country). Eyewitnesses said that ambulances escorted by “Hummer” vehicles transported the dead bodies and wounded to a military hospital in the governorate. At the same time, the Egyptian army did not comment on the bombing incident. On Friday, the Egyptian warplanes launched several raids on the ISIS-controlled areas in the villages of Qatiya, Qatiya, and Al-Mrih, after the army had fully recaptured the villages Rab’a and Al-Janayen. These developments came after violent clashes with gunmen belonging to Sinai Wilayet, the local branch of ISIS, which resulted in deaths and injuries on both sides. The army had taken control of large parts of Iqtiyah village, two days ago, but the organization attacked and controlled amounts of it again. The Sinai Province organization had taken control of 5 villages, west of the city of Bir al-Abed, more than a month ago, after a bloody attack on an Egyptian army camp and checkpoint in Rab’a village.
Since February 2018, a joint army and police forces have launched an expanded military operation, under the name “Sinai 2018”, to eliminate the militants, without succeeding in taking full control of the Sinai Peninsula.