At least eighteen soldiers and police officers were killed when Militants carried out an attack on Egyptian Army checkpoints and security installations. According to the state news media, the attack took place early Wednesday, in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
The responsibility for the attack was claimed by a militant group that is associated with the Islamic State. According to a statement that circulated on social media, and that was made by the group more than fifteen checkpoints were attacked, as well as police installations. It is claimed that they were using heavy weapons that included mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
Word coming from the army is that the checkpoints that were under attack were hit by militants that were driving pickup trucks. The trucks were equipped with antiaircraft guns.
The checkpoints were not the only spots that were attacked. According to witnesses and security officials that talked to the state news media, in the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, there were gunmen who were described as firing from the rooftops. The city is near the checkpoints, and the civilians were wounded in the firing. The number of killed is at a rise.
What’s more is the news that the roads that lead into the city are booby-trapped with explosive devices, according to the ambulance workers.
Unofficially, at least 30 soldiers were killed, and many more were taken captive by militants. The militants also took armored vehicles and weapons.
Similar attacks were initiated at regular intervals by another militant group which calls itself the Sinai Province of the Islamic State. The duration of the assault lasted more than five hours. Judging by the extent and the duration of the assault, this is the largest attack in months.
This attack was yet another harsh blow for the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He has been struggling to quiet down the revolutionaries, which have been causing deaths of hundreds of soldiers and police officers for more than two years.
In Egypt’s capital city, Cairo, unknown militants assassinated the top prosecutor. His convoy was bombed in a street on Monday, during significant escalation of the attacks.
The killed prosecutor was Hisham Barakat. He was the most senior official that was killed, ever since the rebellion started to escalade. This was in 2013, after the military President Mohamed Morsi was discharged. He was Egypt’s first president that was properly elected and a Muslim Brotherhood leader.
Although the officials have been blaming the Brotherhood for the death of Mr. Barakat, as well as other violent outbursts that happened, the group denies the responsibility for those attacks.
The biggest challenge now for the government and the authorities comes from the militants that are based in northern Sinai. Apparently, they have taken control over several areas and snatched them from the state. They have also set up their own checkpoints. Attacks were made on soldiers that seem to be at will, despite the fact that the military is organizing a large-scale operation to take back control of the area.