Rady Soliman Abu Sabie and his son Soliman were killed in El Fakhwryia square in the North Sinai city of Al-Arish on Monday night, according to a Ministry of Interior statement.
The ministry report as to who was responsible for the death of the father and son differs however from that provided by journalists and social media. Activists claimed that the two men were assassinated by members of “Sinai Province” fighters who killed the man with a knife and shot his son.
“Four masked people drove into El Fakhwryia Square after kidnapping the victims. They began firing their weapons as soon as they reached the square. They killed the son first and then slaughtered his father. All this happened in five minutes,” journalist and inhabitant of Al-Arish city Ahmed Abu Drea told Daily News Egypt. This is the first incident of its kind that has taken place inside Al-Arish city, he said.
The Ministry of Interior however stated the killers had not been identified as members the extra-state militant group. “Security officers were immediately at the crime scene. The victims’ names are Rady Soliman Abu Sabie and his son Soliman. There were three killers. There was a dispute between them and the victims. The security forces will great efforts to capture the criminals,” the Ministry of Interior’s statement read.
Members affiliated to the Sinai Province claimed responsibility for this incident on social media. However there has not been an official statement from the Sinai Province.
Abu Drea questioned Ministry of Interior’s statement’s suggestion that a verbal dispute would not lead to such a grotesque crime. Furthermore he questioned whether the presence of police forces within the city is effective. Security forces are often absent at night given that the general fear of attack from Sinai Province forces.
The Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, has claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks against security forces in North Sinai.
On Saturday, a blast in the neighboring city of Rafah took the lives of two soldiers and injured two others in an ambush that targeted the route often used by security forces, according to state media report. On Sunday, a police officer of the North Sinai security directorate force was killed in front of his house in Al-Arish.
Recently several accounts on social media owned by people affiliated with the “Islamic State” (IS) have claimed that “Sinai Province” fighters have placed security checkpoints in different parts of the Rafah region. These accounts published photos of flyers, which were purportedly distributed by members of Sinai Province to Rafah inhabitants, containing warnings about drug use and smoking.
Insurgents have intensified attacks in North Sinai since the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. The governorate has become the scene of violent clashes between state militants and the Egyptian armed forces.