10 dead in Egypt's Sinai day after Mohamed Mahmoud Street anniversary turns violent
At least ten soldiers were killed early Wednesday in a blast that targeted a military vehicle on the Al-Arish to Rafah road in the restive North Sinai region, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported. Twenty-six were also injured in the attack.
The restive peninsula, already suffering a security vaccum since the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, has seen a spike in militant activity since Mohamed Morsi's ouster. Attacks on security and army targets in the Sinai region have killed over 100 since July.
A parked car blew up as an army convoy passed by on the road between Al-Arish and Rafah on Wednesday morning, a security source told state news agency MENA.
Some of those critically injured were flown to a military hospital in Cairo's Maadi, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
Preliminary examinations show a large amount of TNT explosives was used in the bomb, it added.
The attack is the bloodiest since mid-August when gunmen killed 25 policemen in an ambush on a security convoy in Rafah. Dozens of militants have been killed since the army began its recent campaign to flush out "terrorists" and seize or destroy arms caches in the Sinai region.
One day before Wednesday's fatal blasts in Sinai, Egypt’s security forces fired heavy rounds of teargas in Tahrir in the late hours of Tuesday, dispersing around 200 protesters who had remained in the square to commemorate the 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes.
Most of the few thousand protesters who marked the second anniversary of the clashes in the iconic square had left by 10pm after organisers of the commemoration ended their vigil. Earlier in the evening, dozens of the protesters had clashed with police forces deployed at the nearby Arab League headquarters.
The late night clashes followed a day of largely peaceful protests in the vicinity of Tahrir Square. Tanks moved in to block entrances to Tahrir.
A ministry of health official has said that 17 people were injured nationwide on Tuesday, as various demonstrations took place to commemorate the anniversary of violent clashes in 2011 between anti-military protesters and security forces that left 47 dead and at least 3,000 injured.