Police officer, govt official killed in Egypt’s Sinai

– Volatile peninsula suffers a day of violence that also sees three soldiers killed in separate militant attacks

A police officer and a government official were killed Monday in Egypt’s violence-wracked Sinai Peninsula, a local security source told Anadolu Agency.

“An explosive device went off as a military force was conducting search operations in northeastern Sinai,” the source, who spoke anonymously for security reasons, said.

A police captain, 32-year-old Mohamed Safwat Rushdi, was killed in the blast, the source added.

In a related incident Monday, Alauddin Ali Mohammed, a government telecommunications official, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in the Al-Masaeed district of northeastern Sinai’s Al-Arish city.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the two incidents, on which the Egyptian army has yet to comment.

Earlier the same day, three Egyptian soldiers were killed when a bomb went off elsewhere on the peninsula, according to a local security source.

And on Sunday, two Egyptian civilians were killed by mortar fire in the North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuweid.

Since Mohamed Morsi, Egypt‘s first freely-elected president, was ousted in a 2013 military coup, the Egyptian security forces have waged a fierce campaign against what they describe as Sinai-based “terrorist groups”.

The campaign, which involves police and army forces, has been accompanied by frequent attacks on security personnel deployed in the restive peninsula.

The authorities claim they are battling the Welayat Sinai (Sinai Province) group, which is said to have sworn allegiance to the Daesh terrorist organization.