An Egyptian soldier was killed on Sunday by unidentified gunmen in the northern Sinai town of al-Arish, Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported.
Earlier on the day, armed men attacked four security checkpoints in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, close to Egypt’s border with Israel and the Gaza Strip, part of an upsurge of violence there since Wednesday’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.
Gunmen in pickup trucks exchanged gunfire with soldiers and police in the lawless province in the early hours of the morning, but there were no casualties, security sources said.
Hardline Islamists have launched sporadic attacks in North Sinai since the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 created a security vacuum in the region.
On Friday, five security officers were killed in skirmishes with suspected militants in El Arish, the regional capital.
On Saturday, a priest was also killed there by a group of militants, four other checkpoints were fired upon and an explosion hit an Egyptian pipeline supplying gas to Jordan.
The fire caused by the explosion was under control by early Sunday morning, state media reported. The pipeline has been attacked more than 10 times since Mubarak’s overthrow during the Arab Spring uprisings.
It was not immediately clear if the latest attacks were linked to the ouster of Mursi, democratically elected a year ago, by the military after nationwide protests. His Muslim Brotherhood movement has since held its own protests in which dozens have been killed.
On Sunday, the Salafi Jihadi group, one of the biggest Sinai-based Islamist militant groups, issued a statement on a jihadist website saying that “current events ravaging the country” were affecting Sinai.
It also threatened attacks on the “repressive practices” of the police and military forces on people in Sinai.
The group has issued statements threatening attacks on Israel previously, but this was the first known direct threat they have issued against Egyptian security forces.
Israel relying on Egyptian army to counter IslamistsIsrael is relying on the Egyptian army to suppress Islamist militants in the Sinai and to ensure the country’s stability after the dismissal of ... Middle East
West bank villagers cut off by Israel’s barrier and settlementsFor the villagers of Nabi Samuel, home is no longer sweet. The Palestinian village northwest of Jerusalem has been cut off from its Arab ... Middle East
Israel eyes Egypt worriedly after Mursi overthrownIsrael maintained a worried silence on Thursday following the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammad Mursi, by ... Middle East