Prime Minister Sherif Ismail decided on Saturday to ban the entry of any type of motorbike and their spare parts to the regions of central and North Sinai. For now, the period of the ban is limited to one year, according to the official government publication.
“The areas of the ban include Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid, and Al-Arish, in addition to El Meghra and El Khetima mountains in North Sinai, while the areas in central Sinai included in the ban are the cities of Taba and Ras Sidr,” the government publication reported.
Following the issuance of the Prime Minister’s decision, a broad campaign has been launched by the security forces inside the aforementioned areas to seize any motorbikes there, a North Sinai based journalist told Daily News Egypt on Sunday on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, anonymous militants on Saturday evening blew up the residence of a non-commissioned police officer in the suburb of Al-Obour in the North Sinai city of Al-Arish, the journalist said.
“Militants believed to be members of the IS-affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province,” planted [an improvised explosive device] in the non-commissioned police officer’s residence and remotely detonated it; nobody was killed or injured from the explosion,” he explained.
Moreover, a security conscript was injured by sniper bullets while he was stationed at a security checkpoint located south of Al-Arish. The conscript has been transferred to Al-Arish Military hospital to receive treatment, the source added.
Since 2013, state security forces, represented in both the army and the 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 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.