Militants attack Sinai checkpoint: 15 Egyptian officers killed, three missing

Published March 20th, 2016 - 01:00 GMT
Militancy in Egypt has been on the rise ever since Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. (AFP/File)
Militancy in Egypt has been on the rise ever since Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. (AFP/File)

Fifteen Egyptian police officers were killed and three were reported missing after gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in the northern Sinai Peninsula on Saturday night.

Egyptian security sources told Ma’an that a suicide bomber detonated a car at the al-Safa checkpoint south of el-Arish. Gunmen believed to be affiliated to the Sinai Province organization (previously known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) then arrived on the scene and opened fire, making sure all the police officers were dead.

The sources said three officers were missing, and were believed to have been taken hostages by the attackers, who seized all the weapons on the scene.

The Sinai Province organization released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.

Egyptian security sources identified the victims as Yousif Amir Fuad, 21, Muhammad Taha Hussein, 21, Hasan Abu Ghanima Muhammad, 21, Fathi Jamal Fathi, 21, Mustafa Ali Muhammad, 21, Muhammad Mustafa Hussein, 21, Muhammad Ibrahim, 27, Hamada Gharib Abd al-Aziz, 21, Muhammad Omar al-Badri, 32, Saad Ahmad Said, 30, Mahmoud Ibrahim Abd al-Jawad, 21, Ibrahim Abd al-Ghani Ali, 21, Bassam Hindawi Muhammad, 21, Yaser Mamdouh Muhammad, 21 and Mahmoud Munir Mahmoud, 32.

Egyptian military and police forces have been the target of ongoing attacks, which have increased since Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

The Egyptian president came under attack following his violent suppression of Muslim Brotherhood members following his rise to power, which Sisi has argued is necessary to deter future attacks in the Sinai and across Egypt.

Beit Ansar al-Maqdis, the militant group responsible for a majority of attacks on military personnel, aligned with the Islamic State [Daesh] group in November 2014, changing its name to Sinai Province.


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