Daesh-affiliated Ansar Bayt claims Thursday Sinai attacks

Published April 4th, 2015 - 04:00 GMT
An Egyptian military truck carries armored personnel carriers en route to the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP/File)
An Egyptian military truck carries armored personnel carriers en route to the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP/File)

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for attacks on military checkpoints near the cities of Sheikh Zuwaid and Al-Arish on Thursday which killed at least five soldiers. 

In a statement published on Twitter as well on several pro-jihadist websites the group said it launched simultaneous attacks on several checkpoints on the  highway between Al-Arish and Rafah city using automatic guns and RPG missiles. 

The group, which was designated as a terrorist organisation in 2014, added that the attack resulted in the killing and injuring of dozens of security personnel. 

A spokesman for the armed forces, Mohamed Samir, announced on Thursday that 5 soldiers were killed in the attacks while 15 gunmen were killed in the military operation that was launched in the area following the attack. 

According to other reports, two civilians were among the dead, and 19 security personnel and ten civilians were wounded.

Egypt's army is fighting an Islamist insurrection based in the northern part of Sinai Peninsula, which has heightened since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. The violence has mainly targeted security forces, killing hundreds.

Hundreds of alleged militants have been arrested or killed in the military campaign launched to combat the violence.

Civilians have also been caught up in the violence.

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis pledged allegiance to Islamic state (Daesh) in November 2014 and changed its name to Waliyat Sinai, although in the Egyptian media it is still commonly known by its original moniker.  

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