ISIS claims responsibility for deadly Egypt attack

The Ismailia police checkpoint was attacked by ISIS in Egypt on Friday, resulting in three fatalities.

An ISIS cell attacked an Egyptian police checkpoint in the Suez Canal city with a machine gun, Amaq News Agency said. Amaq News Agency is a news outlet linked to the Islamic State (ISIS).

An Ismailia security directorate, 100km east of Cairo, reported that two gunmen on motorcycles perpetrated the assault. One of the attackers was shot dead as he exchanged gunfire with security forces, while the other escaped. A manhunt was underway to capture him.

Militants affiliated with ISIS have battled security forces in northern Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip for years.

Since the deadly insurgency in Sinai attacks has largely spared the mainland. But Friday’s attack by ISIS in Egypt was the first in nearly three years as large-scale army-led operations finished off the insurgency in 2018, resulting in a sharp drop in militant attacks.

Small-scale militant attacks against isolated army or police posts, as well as the assassinations of minority Christians, suspected government collaborators, and tribal leaders who support the government, have been commonplace since then.

Last May, 11 soldiers were killed in an assault on a regional office in western Sinai. Five soldiers and seven militants were slain in a subsequent attack in Sinai last week.

Because of its geographic location halfway along the Suez Canal, Ismailia is midway between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Around 10 per cent of the world’s maritime traffic passes through the Suez Canal, which is headquartered in Ismailia.


Image Credit: Reuters

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