Militant group claims Egypt's deadly Sinai attacks

At least 29 were killed in the attacks targeted military and security sites in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

At least 29 were killed in the attacks targeted military and security sites in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

CAIRO – The "Welayet Sinai" militant group (formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis) has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks that had killed at least 29 people and wounded 47 others late Thursday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

In a Twitter statement, the group said its members had carried out simultaneous attacks in the cities of Arish and Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai.

The Egyptian state TV said 20 people were killed and 36 others wounded in the Aish attacks.

But a medical source told The Anadolu Agency, on condition of anonymity, that at least 29 people were killed and 45 wounded.

According to state television, one officer and one soldier was injured in the Sheikh Zuweid attack.

No official death toll has been given yet.

Welayet Sinai has claimed responsibility for a number of previous deadly attacks on security personnel, both in restive Sinai and in other parts of Egypt.

The group acquired its current name after reportedly swearing allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), a militant group that captured vast territories in both Iraq and Syria last year.

Egyptian security forces have been waging a campaign against militants in Sinai – which shares borders with both Israel and the Gaza Strip – amid a rise in attacks on army and police personnel since the ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013.

In Oct., 31 soldiers were killed in an attack on a military site in North Sinai, prompting Egyptian authorities to declare a state of emergency and curfew in some areas of the restive province.

The curfew was renewed for three more months on Jan. 25.

Egyptian authorities have been establishing a 1-kilometer buffer zone between the Egyptian city of Rafah and the Gaza border.

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