Egyptian officials said that two suicide bombings today in South Sinai killed at least one Egyptian soldier and wounded nearly a dozen other people. Meanwhile, unidentified assailants detonated a small bomb near a traffic police post in Cairo’s eastern Heliopolis suburb. The attack killed one policeman and wounded at least four others.
While the first bombing in South Sinai today appeared to target security personnel at a checkpoint near the town of el Tor, the second appeared aimed at workers from a tourism company, Reuters reported. Egypt’s Interior Ministry said it was working to identify those responsible for the three attacks, which have thus far gone unclaimed.
The bombings in South Sinai came only a week after a senior Egyptian military official said the army had “complete control” of the Sinai Peninsula. “There is obvious stability in Sinai despite rumors that there are still terrorist elements and tunnels in north Sinai,” said Major General Mohamed al Shahat.
Since July 3, 2013, there have been more than 330 reported attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, most of which were carried out against Egyptian security forces and assets, according to data maintained by The Long War Journal. Nearly all of these attacks have been confined to North Sinai.
However, suicide attacks by Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis), the dominant jihadist group in Egypt, were conducted in the South Sinai towns of el Tor in October and Taba in February.
In its claim of responsibility for the February bombing of a tourist bus in Taba, Ansar Jerusalem declared its intent to “target [the Egyptian regime’s] economic interests everywhere to paralyze its hands from what they do to the Muslims.”
If Ansar Jerusalem does take credit for today’s suicide attacks, it would be the group’s first claimed attack since Taba. In addition, the two bombings would be the fifth and sixth suicide attacks by the jihadist group since September 2013.