A non-commissioned police officer was shot dead on Friday evening by members of the militant group Sinai Province in the North Sinai city of Al-Arish.
Ashraf Motawea was targeted by Sinai Province militants while walking in Al-Abour suburb, a Sinai-based journalist told Daily News Egypt Saturday on condition of anonymity.
The Islamic State-affiliated group claimed responsibility for the attack against the police officer in a statement released on Saturday.
“Soldiers of the caliphate succeeded in targeting the apostate non-commissioned police officer Ashraf Motawea after targeting him using guns in Al-Abour city,” the statement read.
The targeting of police personnel by Sinai Province militants has been on the rise recently in parallel with intensive ongoing military operations executed by both army and police forces in North Sinai. Operation Martyr’s Right is one such manoeuvre aimed at eliminating Islamic State-affiliated militants in the peninsula.
Last week, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi extended the state of emergency in North Sinai for an additional three months starting 29 July. A curfew has been imposed and renewed every three months since 2014 as a counter-terrorism measure.
Several complaints have been heard by residents who claimed their lives and businesses have been negatively affected by the state of emergency. Some of them even told Daily News Egypt in 2015 that the measure was ineffective in fighting terrorism, and that “since the curfew was enforced, the militancy increased during the curfew hours”.