The Egyptian Armed Forces successfully detonated five improvised explosive devices (IED) on Friday south of Sheikh Zuweid, a North Sinai-based journalist told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity Saturday.
The five IEDs were set up to target a security patrol performing a checkpoint operation in the Abou Helw region south of Sheikh Zuweid. The bombs also targeted Sheikh Zuweid police station, the journalist clarified.
Immediately after receiving a notification of the existence of the IEDs, a bomb squad was sent to detonate them by shooting at the explosives from a safe distance once the area was cleared.
The Islamic State-affiliated group “Sinai Province” is believed to be responsible for planting IEDs such as these in order to target army and police stationing points and armoured patrols.
North Sinai has become the scene of frequent clashes between militants and state security forces. A string of attacks have taken place over the past weeks in North Rafah area, killing mostly security personnel but leaving some civilian casualties.
On the third anniversary of the 30 June Uprising, a bomb exploded in Al-Arish, leaving one police conscript dead and a police officer and three other conscripts injured. In a separate attack, a priest named Rafael Moussa from Mar Girgis Church in Al-Arish was shot dead by unknown assailants.
As a result, an extensive counter-insurgency operation was launched to curb militancy. The Egyptian government has imposed a state of emergency in the peninsula’s northern regions.