20 Suspected Militants and One Soldier Killed in North Sinai – Military Source

Security forces thwarted an attempt to attack a security checkpoint in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid early Wednesday, killing 20 suspected militants, a military source said.

A mortar shell meanwhile targeted a military vehicle in Sheikh Zuweid late Tuesday, killing one military personnel, military sources said. The targeted vehicle was combing the area, in search of militants.

The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt’s most active militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement shared by its supporters on Twitter.

Ansar, which changed its name to Sinai Province after pledging allegiance to Islamic State fighters last November, said it attacked two military vehicles in Sheikh Zuweid.

Aswat Masriya could not independently verify the authenticity of the statement.

Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, following mass protests against his rule. Most attacks target security forces in North Sinai.

On July 1, a number of security checkpoints and a police station in the town of Sheikh Zuweid were attacked by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, in what was labelled as a failed attempt to take over the town.

The attacks claimed the lives of 17 army personnel and and no less than 100 militants, according to military figures.