Three attacks by suspected Islamic State militants kill 27 people in Egypt’s northern Sinai province, medical and security sources say.
In a series of tweets from Islamic State’s Sinai wing’s Twitter account, militants claimed responsibility for each of the four attacks that took place in north Sinai and Suez provinces, in some of the worst anti-state violence Egypt has seen in months.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt’s most active militant group, changed its name to Sinai Province last year after swearing allegiance to Islamic State, the hardline Sunni militant group that has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria.
Egypt’s government faces an Islamist insurgency based in Sinai and growing discontent with what critics perceive as heavy-handed security tactics.
Yesterday’s first attack was a bombing targeting a military headquarters, base and hotel in the capital of North Sinai province that killed 25 and wounded at least 58, including nine civilians, security and medical sources said.
The flagship government newspaper, al-Ahram, said its office in the city of Al-Arish, which is situated opposite the military buildings, had been “completely destroyed,” although it was not clear if it had been a target.
Later, suspected militants killed an army major and wounded six others at a checkpoint in Rafah, followed by a roadside bomb in Suez city that killed a police officer, and an assault on a checkpoint south of Al-Arish that wounded four soldiers, security sources said.
A prosperous and strong Egypt requires an environment of security and stability. US State Department
The US State Department condemned the attack, saying in a statement: “The United States remains steadfast in its support of the Egyptian government’s efforts to combat the threat of terrorism in Egypt as part of our continuing commitment to the strategic partnership between our two countries.”
— Department of State (@StateDept) January 30, 2015