A coordinated militant attack involving several car bombs hit an Army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula, not far from the Gaza border crossing today, killing at least 26 Egyptian soldiers, and wounding at least 33 others, according to junta officials.
There has been no claim of credit for the attack,which was carried out by masked gunmen, though Sinai’s ISIS affiliate is obviously the main suspect. Egypt reported “counter-operations” in which they claimed to have killed 40 “suspects,” but offered few details.
Retaliatory attacks by Egypt’s military in Sinai have tended to hit militant-sympathetic neighborhoods and just kill everybody in the area wholesale, though official statements always label all the slain militants or at least suspects, whether they were obvious civilian bystanders or not.
The timing and location of the attack suggest it’s a faction that doesn’t like Hamas, however, as Egypt has just recently opened relations with Hamas, and reopened the Gaza border crossing. Since the 2013 coup, the junta has tended to blame Hamas for militant attacks if they can’t definitively pin them on ISIS, and whoever these “masked militants” are may be counting on that to derail the rapprochement.
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