A takfiri’ militant is suspected of killing Al-Nour Party candidate Mostafa Abdel Rahman in North Sinai, and security forces are currently looking to arrest him and other suspected criminals, said the Ministry of Interior in an official statement on Tuesday.
The ministry said initial indicators state that the suspect aimed to negatively impact the parliamentary elections process and that the killed candidate was against this extremist mentality.
The Salafist Al-Nour Party parliamentary candidate was shot to death in Al-Arish in North Sinai on Saturday.
Unknown assailants riding a motorcycle opened fire at Abdel Rahman, after he left his home in Karm Abu Nagela to head to one of the nearby mosques to perform the Asr (afternoon) prayer.
Abdel-Rahman was the secretary general of the Al-Nour Party in North Sinai, and the only candidate running for the party in the governorate.
Parliamentary elections in North Sinai are taking place amidst an unstable security environment, the violent targeting of candidates and judges, as well as turbulent weather conditions.
A candidate, who preferred anonymity, was quoted by Sinai based journalist Ahmed Abo Dera’a on Monday as saying: “If I put up any posters I would be killed immediately. Militants send us daily death threats if we continue in the elections process (…) security men are aware of this and told us they will increase efforts in securing the voting process.”
Crossfire between militants and armed forces in Sinai increased over the past two years. Dozens of attacks by militants with explosives killed numerous security men. On the other hand, military raids killed hundreds of militants allegedly belonging to the extremists group “State of Sinai”.
Due to its topographic nature, the Sinai Peninsula witnessed striking floods on Sunday which resulted in the separation of three neighbourhoods in Nakhl city and the blocking of Suez, Taba-Nuweiba, Sa’al Valley-St. Catherine roads temporarily. Mobile and Internet connections have also been severely hampered to date.