IS targets police checkpoint near Saint Catherine’s Monastery



Wed, 19 Apr 2017 - 07:00 GMT


Wed, 19 Apr 2017 - 07:00 GMT

Saint Catherine's Monastery, South Sinai - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons

Saint Catherine's Monastery, South Sinai - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons

CAIRO – 19 April 2017: A group of armed militants opened fire at a police checkpoint in Saint Catherine’s road, South Saini Wednesday, an Interior Ministry security media official stated.

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to its affiliated news portal, Amaq.

The police checkpoint was deployed just outside the renowned Saint Catherine’s Monastery; one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world, and a popular tourist attraction.

The monastery was built between 548 and 565. It stands at the foot of Mount Sinai where, the Old Testament records at Exodus 3:1, Moses received the Tablets of the Law.

The militants targeted the police checkpoint from a hilltop when the scene became an exchange of fire that killed one policeman, wounded four and some of the gunmen; who managed to flee the scene, leaving a machine gun behind.

The attack took place just a week before a planned visit by Pope Francis to Egypt.
Moreover, the attack happened briefly after two


that hit Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria on Palm Sunday, killing at least 45 people.

Amaq announced IS’ responsibility for the bombings.

Egypt has been in a state of emergency since the bombings occurred, as declared by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who ordered deployment of Armed Forces units to aid police forces in guarding vital buildings or containing emergency situations.

Extremist groups have been stepping up their assaults to reach other parts of Egypt, after firmly focusing on the Sinai Peninsula for a long while.

The continuous attacks and bombings led by extremist groups threaten to deal a blow to several struggling fields and industries in Egypt that have long-suffered since the January 25, 2011 uprising that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.



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