Seven militants were killed by the armed forces in a pre-emptive strike in North Sinai to thwart a “terrorist attack”, according to a statement by the military spokesman Wednesday morning.
Earlier on Wednesday, an explosion occurred in Al-Arish killing a police officer and injuring three conscripts. The explosion resulted in damaging neighbouring houses and shops.
According to the armed forces statement, the armed forces received intelligence information that “terrorist elements” were transferring weapons from Rafah to Sheikh Zuweid in preparation of an attack against security forces.
In a conference in May, tribe members in North Sinai announced their stance with the Egyptian armed forces against militants and declared they would coordinate.
The strike comes within a day from bombing of the house of a police officer and setting two others ablaze earlier on Tuesday. These attacks left no casualties.
Earlier this week, a similar bomb attack targeting a police officer’s house left seven civilians severely injured.
Security personnel located in North Sinai have been intensively targeted since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Islamic State affiliate “State of Sinai”, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, is the dominant militant group operating in the restive peninsula. The group is believed to contain “foreign elements”, as per President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s speeches.
In a recent development, the Rafah border between the Gaza Strip and North Sinai opened until Friday. By then, the border will have been opened for seven consecutive days; the first time since the ouster of Morsi.
A 5km wide area along the border is currently being evacuated for the implementation of a buffer zone.