CAIRO: Sinai Province, a militant group affiliated with the Islamic State (IS,) claimed responsibility for simultaneous attacks on “19 army checkpoints” in North Sinai, killing dozens of soldiers, according to Wednesday statements circulated on Twitter accounts affiliated with Sinai Province.
The first statement claimed it countered the Egyptian air force with anti-aircraft weapons, “forcing [Egyptian] aircrafts to escape vanquished,” citing that 15 checkpoints were attacked.
A second alleged statement by the group claimed that Sheikh Zuwayed police station has been besieged by its fighters, who also bombed two armored vehicles on Arish-Sheikh Zuwayed road. In the updated statement, the group cited four additional checkpoints attacked.
Three suicide attacks were launched using heavy weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar shells on different checkpoints in North Sinai, the statement said, adding that the attack was a “blessed battle.”
Both the spokesperson Mohamed Samir and the alleged Sinai Province statement said fight is still ongoing.
Sinai Province is a Sinai-based militant group that has rebranded its name from “Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis” in November 2014 after pledging allegiance to the IS group. The Sinai Province militants have claimed responsibility for most attacks that have killed hundreds of army and police soldiers in the northern tip of the Sinai Peninsula.
AP reported at least 30 soldiers were killed in the near-simultaneous militant attacks in Egypt’s the restive area.
Although still unverified, other news websites reported conflicting numbers of a death toll reaching 60.
Samir confirmed the death of 10 soldiers thus far.