Ten civilians injured in North Sinai blast

Ahram Online: Ten civilians were injured on Tuesday when a car bomb exploded in North Sinai’s Al-Arish, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The victims included four women and two children.

They were transported to Al-Arish General hospital.

Al-Ahram said locals had informed the police of a suspicious car parked in the town, but no immediate action had been taken.

Communication networks – landlines, mobile phones and internet – were cut off in the area for two hours following the blast.

Meanwhile, two civilians have been found shot dead in North Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid, state news agency MENA reported on Wednesday.

Security sources said the two men, from local clans, had been reported missing. They were found with gunshot wounds in their heads and bodies.

The government declared a three-month state of emergency in parts of North Sinai on 24 October following a major attack by militants that killed at least 31 members of the security forces.

The army is also creating a buffer zone within 500-metres deep and 14 kilometres long of the Rafah-Gaza border, with over 1,100 families evacuated from the area.

Many evicted residents went to Al-Arish for shelter, while the government promised prompt help and compensation.

Egypt’s army has been facing a decade-long jihadist militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, with militant attacks increasing over the past year and expanding into Cairo and the Nile Delta, killing hundreds of army and police personnel. The military has also announced killing and arresting hundreds of militants.

Civilians have also been caught up in the violence.

Local residents in North Sinai have been found killed, some decapitated, over the past months.

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, which pledged allegiance to Islamic State on Monday, released a video online showing the beheading of four men who it accused of providing information that helped an Israeli drone strike kill three of the group's fighters in July.

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