Three women killed in clashes in Egypt’s Sinai


Two women were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade while another died in crossfire between militants and security forces in two separate incidents in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, security and medical sources said on Sunday.

Security sources blamed the violence on Sinai Province, Egypt’s most active militant network and the same group that claimed attacks on Thursday that killed at least 30 security personnel in the worst anti-government violence in months.

In Rafah, along the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, militants launched a rocket-propelled grenade at a military checkpoint, but hit a house instead, killing two women, security and medical sources said.

The wayward RPG also wounded two other women and two children, the sources said.

In another incident in Rafah, a woman was killed by a stray bullet during a firefight between militants and security forces, while two others were wounded, security sources said.

A man was also wounded after security forces shot at him at a checkpoint in provincial capital Al-Arish for violating a curfew that has been in place since the last major attacks in October, the sources said.

Egypt is facing a Sinai-based insurgency that has claimed the lives of hundreds of security forces since the army removed president Mohahmed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in June 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

The militant group Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, changed its name when it pledged allegiance to Islamic State, the ultra-radical Sunni group that has taken over swathes of Iraq and Syria.