On Sunday, two separate attacks struck Egypt, killing at least 12 and injuring several others. The attacks occurred at a police station in the provincial capital of Egypt’s northern Sinai, and along the highway where a passing armored vehicle was traveling south of Al-Arish.
Hossam Abdel-Ghafar, Health Ministry spokesman, told Ahram Online that a car explosion in Al-Arish caused the death of five policemen and one civilian.
He further added that 45 people were injured, some of them critically. By nightfall, eight bodies have been recovered from the debris.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, a militant group affiliated to ISIS, took responsibility for the attack.
In an earlier attack on an armored vehicle on the highway from Al-Arish to Sheikh Zuweid, six military personnel – including a first lieutenant, a sergeant and four conscripts – were killed. Two other soldiers sustained injuries and were transported to a military hospital.
In a third attack, militants attacked soldiers at a checkpoint in Rafah. The incident resulted to injuries on one police officer and two soldiers.
Sunday was celebrated as Eastern Orthodox Easter in Egypt.
According to state media, the attacks occurred as a reshuffle of several senior military ranks was being carried out; among these was the replacement of the commander of the army division.
Maj. Gen. Nasser el-Assi, el-Shahat’s deputy, replaced Maj. Gen. Mohammed el-Shahat, who became the head of military intelligence.
Abu Mohammed, who lives close to the police station, said that there was a scatter of bodies all over after the attack.
“Those at the other end of town heard the explosion. It was humongous. It terrified us,” he said, using an alias. “I am not afraid of them. I only fear for those around me. We will not leave our town until we liberate it from those terrorists.”
On Friday, the Islamic State group posted a video of a kidnapped conscript – after an attack that claimed the lives of 16 soldiers and three civilians – pleading with Egyptians not to join the army before being shot to death.
The attacks led by Islamist insurgent factions have escalated dramatically since Mohamed Morsy, Muslim Brotherhood president, was ousted in the summer of 2013. The attacks have caused deaths of hundreds of police and civilians.
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