North Sinai suicide bombing


A suicide bombing killed at least two people in Egypt’s North Sinai region a day after four headless bodies were found, security and medical sources said.

The bombing victims were a civilian and a security force member, the sources said.

An Egyptian military spokesman said in a statement security forces killed the bomber before he reached a checkpoint, his intended target. The spokesman confirmed an armed forces member died after the bomber’s explosive belt detonated.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq agency, saying five security force members were killed or injured.

Islamist militants, some linked to Islamic State, are active in the Sinai Peninsula where security forces launched a major operation last February.

Thursday’s bombing took place at a car park in Sheikh Zuweid, near the Gaza Strip border, a security source and a medical source said.

Separately, two security sources said four headless bodies were found in an empty street in the North Sinai town Bir al-Abd on Wednesday. Families reported four men, aged 23 to 51, were kidnapped, the sources said.

A security source and three residents said militants stopped cars before taking five people and forcing them to lie down. They killed four and kidnapped the fifth, the security source and the residents said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the beheadings via the Amaq agency, saying the four were spies for the Egyptian military. A security source said the security services were trying to find and identify the perpetrators.

Egypt’s State Information Service could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Egyptian military, which launched its campaign in Sinai after a jihadist attack in November 2017 on a mosque in which hundreds of worshippers died, says hundreds of militants died in the campaign.