Militant strikes in Egypt kill 20

0
302

Cairo, Jan 30 (IANS) Mortar attacks in Egypt’s North Sinai province Thursday killed 20 people and injured 36 others, according to a report in Egyptian state TV.

“At least 20 were killed and 36 others injured in anti-security attacks in Arish city,” the state TV quoted a health ministry official in North Sinai as saying.

The casualties included security men and civilians, the official said.

A source in the province told the state TV earlier that ten mortar shells and a car bomb targeted the North Sinai Security Department headquarters and army detachment 101, noting the attacks destroyed a large part of the department.

A security source in the province told Xinhua that the attacks targeted security premises, including a police station, officers’ rest houses and a military hotel in the Arish city as well.

“In (the) nearby Rafah city, most security points were also attacked including the large Haq al-Hosan military checkpoint,” the source added.

Egypt had extended a curfew in many parts of the North Sinai province for another three months, given the unstable security situation in the area and recurrent terrorist attacks.

Anti-security attacks started across Egypt since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the military in July 2013 and the subsequent crackdown on his supporters, that left about 1,000 killed and thousands more arrested.

The anti-security attacks have left hundreds killed. Most of the attacks were claimed by the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group, affiliated to the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq and Syria.

Since Morsi’s removal, his loyalists have been staging anti-government protests denouncing Morsi’s ouster as “a coup”.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which was Morsi’s power base, has been blacklisted by the new leadership as “a terrorist organisation”.