2 suicide bombers strike in South Sinai

Egyptian officials said that two suicide bombings today in South Sinai killed at least one Egyptian soldier and wounded nearly a dozen other people. Meanwhile, unidentified assailants detonated a small bomb near a traffic police post in Cairo’s eastern Heliopolis suburb. The attack killed one policeman and wounded at least four others.

While the first bombing in South Sinai today appeared to target security personnel at a checkpoint near the town of el Tor, the second appeared aimed at workers from a tourism company, Reuters reported. Egypt’s Interior Ministry said it was working to identify those responsible for the three attacks, which have thus far gone unclaimed.

The bombings in South Sinai came only a week after a senior Egyptian military official said the army had “complete control” of the Sinai Peninsula. “There is obvious stability in Sinai despite rumors that there are still terrorist elements and tunnels in north Sinai,” said Major General Mohamed al Shahat.

Since July 3, 2013, there have been more than 330 reported attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, most of which were carried out against Egyptian security forces and assets, according to data maintained by The Long War Journal. Nearly all of these attacks have been confined to North Sinai.

However, suicide attacks by Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis), the dominant jihadist group in Egypt, were conducted in the South Sinai towns of el Tor in October and Taba in February.

In its claim of responsibility for the February bombing of a tourist bus in Taba, Ansar Jerusalem declared its intent to “target [the Egyptian regime’s] economic interests everywhere to paralyze its hands from what they do to the Muslims.”

If Ansar Jerusalem does take credit for today’s suicide attacks, it would be the group’s first claimed attack since Taba. In addition, the two bombings would be the fifth and sixth suicide attacks by the jihadist group since September 2013.

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1 Comment

  • Rhonda says:

    This is my summary of how Egyptian local news elaborated on the story: The 2 suicide bombs were in the South Sinai city of el-Tur, the Capitol of South Sinai. El-Tur City is about 100 kilometers from Sharm el-Sheikh, and the bombers were on their way with explosives to Sharm el-Sheikh. However on the road along the way from Suez to Sharm el-Sheikh are several small cities which have check points at the entrance and exit of the city, in other words on both ends, as you pass through. The 2 bombers blew themselves up when they realized they could not make it through the check points.
    The 1st bomb went off as the bomber was approached by a policeman at the checkpoint to enter the city. Since he knew he was caught, he blew himself up, and the officer was killed. (He was not inside of his car, but on foot, and not sure why he was outside of his car. Probably he was going to run.)
    The 2nd bomb, a car with explosives managed to make it through the checkpoint entering the city, and while driving through the city, he realized that he would not make it though the check point at the exit of the city. So the man ditched the car, strapped himself with explosives, and stood on the side of the road. When a bus was passing by he slammed himself into the side of the bus as it passed by. No one on the bus was killed, but the bus caught on fire and was totally burned. Fortunately all the people got off the bus before the fire was too big. The bus was filled with employees who work in the tourism industry in Sharm el-Sheikh, however it is reported that the bomber thought the bus was filled with tourists and intended to attack tourists.
    The 2 bombers upper half are in tact with the faces not damaged, so they are expecting for them to be identified soon.


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