Egypt: Militant attack kills 11 troops in Sinai, army says | News | DW | 07.05.2022

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Egypt: Militant attack kills 11 troops in Sinai, army says

The army has said that at least 11 troops were killed and five others injured after militants attacked a water pumping station east of the Suez Canal.

Members of security forces patrol around al-Rawda mosque, in Sinai

Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has witnessed an increase in extremist attacks since 2013

Egypt's military said at least 11 troops were killed in a militant attack on Saturday in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

The military said in a statement that the militants attacked a water pumping station east of the Suez Canal.

Clashes ensued following the initial onslaught, which resulted in the deaths of one officer and 10 soldiers, spokesman Colonel Ghareeb Abdul Hafez said on the military's Facebook page.

Five others were wounded, according to the official.

"Hunt is under way for the terrorist elements," he said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi mourned the death of the troops, vowing in a Facebook post to continue fighting the militants and "uprooting terrorism."

No responsibility claimed

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last week, suspected extremists blew up a natural gas pipeline in the Northern Sinai town of Bir al-Abd.

Officials said the suspected militants planted explosives under the pipeline, causing a blaze to break out, but no casualties were reported.

Militant attacks in Sinai

Egypt had witnessed a sharp increase in militant attacks, mainly in Sinai, since 2013, when the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi. The former president died after collapsing in court in 2019.

Hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have since perished in attacks, mostly claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State.

But since 2018, the pace of militant attacks in Sinai's main theater of operations and elsewhere has slowed to a trickle as the military launched a massive operation. 

Information about the fight against militants in the largely desert peninsula has been limited to official statements from the Egyptian government, which barred journalists, non-residents and outside observers from the area.

The conflict has also been kept at a distance from tourist resorts at the southern end of Sinai.

jsi/fb (AP, dpa)

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