Al-Arish residents will make a stand in solidarity with the armed forces to support their fight against terrorism at midday on Monday, an Al-Arish resident told Daily News Egypt.
The stand comes four days after a large scale coordinated attack claimed by North Sinai-based militant group ‘State of Sinai’ targeting military and interior ministry facilities, leaving “hundreds” dead, according to the group’s statement.
However, following armed forces orders, the Ministry of Health declined to provide the official number of death.
Another Al-Arish resident, who requested to remain anonymous for security concerns, told Daily News Egypt that her family lived in the Al-Salam suburb where the attack on the facilities took place. She said that the glass throughout her house was shattered as a result of the explosions, and that they are considering moving to another place, but so far do not know where to go.
She added that many other residents within the area decided to move out of the area following the attack.
Reuters cited military sources regarding the deaths of three women, two of whom were killed by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). The third, however, died in crossfire between militants and security forces.
According to Al-Arish resident Sheikh Khaled Arafat, the situation is currently stable, with no assaults on any residents. He added, however, that there were some clashes between armed forces and militants south-east of Al-Arish.
State-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported that the armed forces killed “tens” of militants following an attack on three checkpoints in Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid Sunday.
‘State of Sinai’ claimed in a statement Sunday an attack on a military vehicle in northern Al-Al-Arish, but did not mention casualties.
The armed forces have not released any statements on military attacks against militants since the 29 January attack.
Sinai Researcher Mohannad Sabry told Daily News Egypt that the 24 October Qarm Al-Qawadis attack on security personnel made it clear that there was “deficiency” in security control.
The army took counter-terrorism measures that include establishing the buffer zone in Rafah to destroy smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Palestinian Gaza strip. However a larger scale coordinated attack [referring to the 29 January attack] took place, which Sabri noted as a proof of the strength and organisation of these groups and the weakness of security control in the area.