Egypt militants claim responsibility for two attacks
EL ARISH, Egypt // An Egyptian militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for twin suicide bombings against a military checkpoint and a tourist bus, killing at least one solider and wounding nine in the southern Sinai Peninsula.
The Al Qaeda inspired group Champions of Jerusalem warned the Egyptian army: “We will not rest until we achieve retribution for the blood and honour of the Muslims.”
The group, which posted its statement on militant websites, has been behind the deadliest attacks against military and police installations in Egypt since a spike in violence last summer following the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Another new group, known as Egypt’s Soldiers has claimed responsibility for several smaller bombings targeting individual police officers.
The violent campaign was at first concentrated in the lawless northern Sinai, where a slew of militant groups have found refuge since the Egypt’s 2011 uprising. But the attacks moved closer to the capital as security forces intensified a security crackdown on supporters of the ousted president, leaving hundreds killed and thousands behind bars.
Security officials fear the attacks on troops would intensify ahead of the presidential elections, scheduled for later this month, where Abdel-Fattah El Sissi, the former military chief who oversaw Mr Morsi’s removal from power, is the front-runner.
A series of attacks on took place on Friday in Cairo and southern Sinai. A bomber blew himself up near a tourist bus carrying Egyptian workers in El Tor, in southern Sinai, killing only himself and wounding four.
On the same day, another attacker blew himself up at an army checkpoint also in El Tor, killing a soldier and himself, and wounding five others.
In Cairo, a homemade bomb planted at a police post killed an officer, while a car used usually by military officers exploded, killing a civilian. No one claimed responsibility for these two attacks.
South Sinai, a tourist destination has seen four suicide bombings since Mr Morsi’s downfall, including one in February that killed three South Korean tourists.
Also on Sunday, security officials said masked gunmen shot dead a retired intelligence officer in El Arish, the capital of northern Sinai, after he dropped his children at school. The retired officer was heading a local prominent charity organisation, and the motive for his killing was not immediately clear.
Published: May 4, 2014 04:00 AM