Egypt: Blast at army base in North Sinai reportedly killed 3 officers, 4 soldiers

Seven Egyptian soldiers were killed last Sunday night, in a mysterious explosion in an air defense base in North Sinai Governorate, east of the country, reported al-araby al-Jadeed.

An Islamic State-linked insurgency has brewed for years in North Sinai, with hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and civilians killed in the campaign.

However, military medical sources in North Sinai said that the bodies of seven soldiers -that had suffered various injuries before they died- arrived at Al-Arish Military Hospital as a result of the explosion of an object at a military base in Sinai.

They pointed out that the cause of the explosion was not determined yet, whether it was due to a technical malfunction or a terrorist attack, as
the sources said they were “unsure whether it was a terror-related attack or a technical malfunction.”

Among the dead were three officers – Air Defence Majors Abdel-Rahman Mahmoud Al-Zuhri Rabie and Diya Alaa El-Din Saad, as well as Air Defence Lieutenant Colonel Hisham Darbaz.

Air Defence recruits Hilmi Younis, Mahmoud Al-Fishawi, Saber Eid, and Nour Al-Sanhouri were also killed.

Their bodies were transferred to Al-Arish Military Hospital and then to their hometowns for burial.

The Egyptian military has yet to make a statement confirming the incident.

The Sinai Peninsula, which shares a land border with Israel, has often been the site of attacks targeting Egyptian security forces stationed there.

Sinai, located in northeastern Egypt, has suffered from an Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda-linked insurgency for over a decade.

It intensified in 2013 following the removal of elected President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup led by current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The attacks are largely confined to the northern part of the peninsula, and have not expanded to its southern region, which is popular with tourists and visitors.

Though there is no official death toll, hundreds of security personnel, civilians, and militants have been killed in similar incidents over the years.