One policeman killed, civilian injured in IED blast in Egypt’s North Sinai

One Egyptian policeman was killed and a civilian injured in an IED blast that hit an armoured vehicle in Egypt’s North Sinai city of El-Arish, state news agency MENA reported on Thursday.
Egypt’s security forces have been battling a decade-long militant Islamist insurgency on the Sinai Peninsula, which intensified following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
The insurgency has been mainly concentrated in North Sinai ‘s Rafah, El-Arish, and Sheikh Zuweid.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail ordered on Wednesday the extension of a years-long state of emergency in designated areas of North Sinai at least until the end of the three-month state of emergency imposed nationwide last week.
The extension of the ongoing state of emergency in North Sinai, which has been renewed every three months since 2014, will impose new overnight curfews in some areas of the governorate.
The curfew will be in effect from 1am to 5am in El-Arish, and 7pm to 6am in the areas of El-Ouga, Halal Mountain, the coastal region and Rafah.
On Tuesday, the Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for an attack earlier that day on a security checkpoint near St Catherine’s Monastery in South Sinai that killed at least one policeman and injured four others.
Army forces have been deployed to aid police in protecting vital institutions as part of the nationwide state of emergency.
On 11 April, the Egyptian parliament approved a nationwide three-month state of emergency, declared by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi two days after two suicide bombers attacked St. George’s Cathedral in Tanta and St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria.
The bombings killed 47 people and injured dozens more in the deadliest attack on civilians in the country’s recent history.
The IS group claimed responsibility for the church attacks.
In October 2014, El-Sisi issued a decree establishing a state of emergency and tight curfew hours in some parts of North Sinai in an effort to combat the intensifying insurgency.
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