Army declares full control of Sinai following Ansar message
Egyptian Army in Sinai - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Second field army forces declared a state of stability in North Sinai, Youm7 reported on Tuesday.

The news followed a Monday post made on a Twitter account associated with Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which declared control over Sinai and warned of further attacks saying “God enabled [the group] to take over North Sinai. We invite media to visit and see who is in control now.” Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was recently declared a terrorist organization by the United States, and has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks since the January 25 Revolution.

The Twitter account also announced “good news to occur at 11 PM in Cairo,” which was translated by the media and the public as a possible new terrorist attack, although the night passed without incident.

Security officials denied the claims and described it as “a rumor amid a chaotic system of information that aims at disturbing national security,” Youm7 reported.

Ansar bayt al-Maqdis was declared a terrorist organization by the Cairo Court for Urgent matters on Monday morning and by the U.S. a week earlier.

Nearly 500 people, the bulk of them soldiers and policemen, have been killed in militant attacks since last June, the government said last month.

On Monday evening, a security officer was killed by gunmen in the North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuwayed.

In the past week and until Sunday, security forces had reported the arrest and killings of many members of the militant group, including leading members such as Mohamed Bakry Haroun who was operating in Cairo.

Additional reporting by Mohamed Ahmed Tantawy.

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