Sinai: Brothers in Arms

Tue, Nov. 26, 2013
By Ahmed Mansour
Since the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi, Sinai has had no respite from the consecutive attacks on soldiers and checkpoints. While the Brotherhood warned violence would escalate if Morsi were not returned to power, responsibility for many of the attacks was claimed by Islamic extremists such as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. A chronology of the violence in Sinai since Al-Sisi declared Morsi and his government had forfeited legitimacy: July 5: Five policemen and a soldier were killed in separate attacks in El-Arish. July 15: Three people died and 17 were wounded when militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a bus carrying workers in El-Arish. The military revealed their intended target was a police vehicle. August 9: An Egyptian airstrike killed four Egyptian militants about to fire a rocket into Israel. An Islamist group claimed Israeli drones carried out the strike, a claim denied by Tel Aviv. August 15: At least seven Egyptian soldiers were killed in an attack near El-Arish. August 19: Militants killed 25 Egyptian police officers on two buses heading toward the border town of Rafah, in the deadliest attack of its kind in years. September 3: The army launched a major offensive strike in the area and began a concentrated campaign to round up militants. September 8: Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group based in the peninsula, claimed responsibility for the attempted assassination of Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo. A remote-controlled bomb was set off as Ibrahim’s motorcade took off in front of his home in Nasr City, killing at least 21 people, including six security officers and a child. September 11: Six soldiers were killed in Sinai when two car bombs exploded near Rafah.   [caption id="attachment_12451" align="alignright" width="300"]The El-Tur bombing marked a move to South Sinai by militants. The El-Tur bombing marked a move to South Sinai by militants.[/caption] October 7: Nine people were killed in attacks on the South Sinai Security Directorate in the town of Al-Tur. October 10: Four soldiers and a policeman died when a suicide bomber rammed his car into an army checkpoint south of El-Arish. November 20: A car bomb exploded next to an army bus near El-Arish, killing 10 soldiers and wounding 35 others.
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