The Egyptian Armed Forces succeeded in foiling a militant attack against an army checkpoint in Al-Arish city, North Sinai as well as killing 23 militants in several operations, according to a press statement from the army’s official spokesperson on Wednesday.
A vehicle armed with explosives attempted to storm the checkpoint. The driver was killed by an RBG mortar and a number of conscripts engaged in a shootout with other militants, eight of whom were killed.
Contrary to the army narrative, militant group “Sinai Province” claimed that it carried out an attack on an army checkpoint located south of Al-Arish in a vehicle armed with explosives, according to a statement on Tuesday.
The statement read: “Thanks to Allah, as part of the operations against the apostate Egyptian army, brother Abou Abdallah El-Masry detonated the explosives in his vehicle in front of the army checkpoint. The bombs left many army personnel dead or injured. Then, violent clashes took place between surviving personnel and ‘Sinai Province’.”
In the army’s statement, the spokesperson said that in the past three days, soldiers with Operation Martyr’s Right destroyed terrorist stationing points and killed five militants.
The statement read: “There was an exchange of fire in the area of Gehad Abou Tabel. Five militants were killed and a four-wheel drive vehicle destroyed, as well as an explosives store. Three improvised explosive devices (IED) planted on roads leading to terrorist stationing points were safely detonated.”
In the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid, army forces targeted multiple terrorist stationing points and explosives stores, including a location used by militants to detain kidnapped civilians. The spokesperson said that the forces found papers with information about these militants there.
Clashes broke out in the two cities as the army forces carried out security sweeps. These clashes resulted in the death of six militants. Tunnels used by the militant group were also found.
In Rafah, four militants were killed in a shootout, the army spokesperson confirmed.
Since 2013, state security forces represented in both the army and police have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to Islamic State (IS) and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish in North Sinai.
Despite numerous statements issued by the armed forces on mass killings of militants, the group still represents a “chronic headache” to the current regime.