CAIRO: A number of residents of Sheikh Zuwayed city in North Sinai have fled their homes amid fears they would be victims of missiles fired in the war-torn tip of the peninsula.
Youm7 quoted residents as saying that “irregular” migration process is ongoing, where families leave to unspecified destinations and live in either apartments or huts around Arish City.
Mohamed Salem, one of the migrating residents of Emir Qabr Village, said that their village turned to a battleground April 2 during attacks on army ambushes in North Sinai that left some 16 soldiers dead and killed 11 civilians when a missile landed on their house.
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) militant group claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group has claimed it is responsible for most of the attacks targeting the army in Sinai since the ouster of the President Mohamed Morsi in July 3, 2013.
Since then, an intensive security campaign is taking place on ground against “terrorists” in several cities in North Sinai. The army has announced striking and killing dozens of “extremist elements.”
The army is coordinating a massive crackdown in search of hidden tunnels under homes; through which alleged extremists smuggle equipment, weapons and goods between Egypt’s Rafah City and Gaza Strip.
Following an October attack that killed more than 30 soldiers in Arish, the army announced it would create a 1 km- wide buffer zone along the Rafah-Gaza border, that would require the evacuation of more than 1,000 families. An expansion the zone’s width is being studied by the government.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Hussein