Over the course of the last two days, three high-ranking police officers were killed in the vicinity of the [third] suburb of Al-Arish city in North Sinai after being targeted by ‘improvised explosive devices’ (IED) that hit their convoys, according to statements issued by the Ministry of Interior.
On Thursday evening, two police officers were killed when their convoy, which had been deployed in a sweeping operation inside the streets of the [third] suburb of Al-Arish city, observed a number of militants trying to plant IEDs and engaged them.
According to the statement issued on the incident, the security forces opened fire on the militants. The shooting resulted in the death of one militant who wore an explosive vest.
“While a number of the convoy’s officers were trying to disarm the IED, it blew up and led to the death of two officers [Captain Meheed Fathi and Lieutenant Colonel Fathi Amin] from the ‘Central Security Forces’ (CSF). Moreover, another four officers were injured,” the statement read.
Similarly, on Wednesday a high-ranking police officer, who held the position of ‘Inspector of General Security’ in North Sinai, was killed in an IED explosion that targeted his convoy in the same area inside Al-Arish city.
The colonel, Yasser El Hadidi, was killed after his armoured vehicle returned from a sweeping operation against militants inside Al-Arish city. He previously held a high security position in South Sinai governorate, a local journalist told Daily News Egypt on Friday on condition of anonymity.
“The explosion that targeted El Hadidi’s armoured vehicle resulted in his death and the injury of a police officer and a conscript affiliated to the security forces of North Sinai governorate,” Wednesday’s interior ministry statement read.
Furthermore, the IS affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’ declared its responsibility for the attack that targeted El Hadidi, issuing a statement one day after the incident.
“Thanks to Allah, a number of militants affiliated to ‘Sinai Province’ managed to plant two IEDs to target a military convoy inside Assuit Street in Al-Arish city, both ‘IEDs blew up and resulted in the destruction of an armoured vehicle and a four wheel vehicle, moreover it resulted in the death of apostate colonel Yasser El Hadidi and others of his companions,” the group’s statement read.
Since 2013, state security forces represented by both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with ‘Sinai Province’, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian armed forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula, where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.