A solider was killed on Tuesday while foiling an attack on a checkpoint guarding a Cement factory in central Sinai, state media reported on Tuesday.
The force guarding the checkpoint reportedly warned the car and its driver who were suspected to belong to the militant group Sinai Province. Afterwards, the force fired at the car causing an explosion which lead to the killing of the solider, named Wahed Gamal Al-Den.
Residents in the area told Daily News Egypt that the workers in the factory received threats that militants might blow up the facility as they are cooperating with the armed forces. They added that there have such threats has been going on for the last two months.
The factory lies in the Hesna area in central Sinai. Neither the armed forces or the Ministry of Interior have published official statements on the incident.
The militant group Sinai Province published photos on social media accounts belonging to the some affiliates of the group. The shows a car approaching a security checkpoint and exploding, claiming that this is footage from the attack which happened . The authenticity of the photos can not be confirmed. Local media has reported that in the last month, several incidents have been reported of civilians being attacked for working in or with businesses affiliated to the Egyptian army.
However local media outlets picked up the story of Wahed Gamal Al-Den citing stories of heroism. Most of the outlets compared Tuesday’s incident to a previous one on 6 August where a military patrol managed to “foil” an attack on checkpoint in Al-Arish city as a car approached security forces guarding the area. Seven civilians were killed in the attack after the explosion took place. The army spokesperson published a video showing a car approaching a checkpoint, and an M-16 tank running over it and turning back. Seconds later the footage show an explosion.
The army personnel who were said to have been in the tank were honoured by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi last Monday during the celebration of the 6 October War.
The latest major attack that targeted military forces on 7 July when a suicide bomber stormed into the military post in the village of Rafah in North Sinai, killing and injuring at least 26 military personnel. The attack was claimed by the militant group of Sinai Province.
Another major attack against police personnel took place on 11 September, killing at least nine policemen were killed.
Previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, Sinai Province reportedly pledged alliance to the Islamic State (IS) group in 2014, to become the Islamic State’s active branch in Egypt.