The army spokesperson announced on Monday night that seven civilians were killed in an attack on a checkpoint in Al-Arish City as a car approached security forces guarding the area.
According to the statement a military patrol managed to “foil a terrorist attack that could have killed around 50-60 civilians and security personnel.” The spokesperson published a video showing a car approaching a checkpoint and an M-16 tank running over it and turning back. Seconds later the footage shows an explosion.
“The tank driver saw the car, where it carried four militants armed with machine guns, as they were preparing to launch the attack,” the statement added, saying that the car later exploded, leaving devastating damages around it, implying that the explosives weighed 100kg.
The seven causalities were civilians (three men, two women, and two infants).
The statement didn’t mention the date the attack took place, but local media reported the incident happened last Thursday.
In a similar context, the spokesperson has also announced that military operations are continuing. The fourth phase of the “Martyr’s right” operation has resulted in the killing of 40, the arrest of five, as well as the destruction of 28 different vehicles, according to the statement.
The military insurgency in Sinai has erupted after the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Hundreds of security personnel, civilians, and militants have been killed since.
On Monday during a session with in the National Youth Conference in Alexandria, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said that military operations are intensifying in the peninsula as part of the reaction of militant groups against Egyptians.
The latest major attack that targeted military forces was on 7 July, when a suicide bomber stormed into the military post in the village of Rafah in North Sinai, killing and injuring at least 26 military personnel. The attack was claimed by the militant group Sinai Province.
Sinai Province has declared responsibility for Friday’s attack in an online statement, which was circulated by the group’s affiliates and supporting news outlets.
Previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, Sinai Province reportedly pledged alliance to the Islamic State (IS) group in 2014, to become the Islamic State’s active branch in Egypt.