A car bomb in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula killed 11 soldiers, wounded 34, and another blast struck police in Cairo amid a wave of unrest following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. The troops were killed when an explosives-laden car blew up next to an army bus in North Sinai.
Daily Nation The Sinai bombing, which also wounded 34 soldiers, was the deadliest in the region bordering Gaza and Israel since an August 19 ambush by gunmen on a convoy of security forces that killed 25 policemen in the North Sinai town of Rafah.
On September 5, a car bomb had targeted interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.That attack was claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an Al-Qaeda-inspired group based in the Sinai which on Tuesday said it was also responsible for Sunday’s assassination of police Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Mabruk, who was involved in an ongoing crackdown on Islamists.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis said its attack on Mabruk was the first in a “series of operations”. In a separate attack, assailants hurled an explosive device at a checkpoint in northern Cairo, wounding four policemen including a major struck by shrapnel in his face and back, security sources said.
Interim president Adly Mansour denounced the latest Sinai bombing as “a terrorist attack”, while the military said it was chasing the perpetrators who fled towards the town of Sheikh Zuwayed.
Egypt has poured troops and armour into the restive peninsula to combat growing militancy while it has waged a crackdown on moderate Islamists elsewhere.
Ahram Minister of Defense General Sisi said that the attack would only increase the [government’s] determination to fight back against those who use weapons against the military, the police and the state.
The Sinai has seen a surge in attacks blamed on Islamic militants that targeted security in almost daily assaults since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi. Attacks on security and army targets in the Sinai region have killed tens of personnel since July. Wednesday’s attack is the bloodiest since mid-August when gunmen killed 25 police conscripts in an ambush on a security convoy in Rafah.