Middle East

Deadly attack hits Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

At least seven people are dead following a shootout in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, a military official said.

Two conscripts and five others were killed after a suicide bomber attempted to “storm” a checkpoint outside the town of Rafah, near Egypt’s border with the Gaza strip, according to Colonel Tamer el-Rifai.

No group immediately assumed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded two others.

The incident occurred just two days after a deadly ISIL attack in the restive region claimed the lives of 18 policemen.

Monday’s attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was the deadliest against government security forces since July, when the group attacked a remote army outpost in Rafah, killing 23 soldiers.

Egypt has battled fighters in Sinai for years, but the rebellion became far more deadly after the 2013 military removal of Mohamed Morsi.

Al Jazeera’s Middle East analyst Yehia Ghanem said the intensified violence in Sinai over the last four years has been used by the Egyptian government to escalate repression throughout the country.

“The Egyptian regime has initiated violence in the Sinai – all over the country but specifically in Sinai. It’s a rule – violence begets violence,” he said.

The Sinai Peninsula borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

 

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