Traffic employee shot dead, policeman injured in Egypt's Sinai

Marina Barsoum , Saturday 31 Jan 2015

Attacks continue in the Sinai peninsula while the death toll of Thursday's deadly coordinated bombings is still unconfirmed

Egyptian border guards patrol near the border with Israel in North Sinai city of Rafah, Egypt, August, 2013 (Photo: AP)

An employee of the traffic management authority was shot dead by unknown assailants late Friday in Egypt's Al-Arish city in North Sinai, Tariq Khater, undersecretary for North Sinai in the health ministry, told Ahram Online.

Khater also confirmed that a policeman was injured while on duty early Saturday by fire from unknown assailants in central Sinai.

The two incidents come days afters a series of militant attacks in North Sinai Thursday that left scores dead and injured.

An exact death toll has not been confirmed by military officials, but media reports suggest at least 30 died in the attacks, including civilians.

Speaking about the death toll, Khater said that only the military should issue an official death toll and not the health ministry.

"The health ministry has not issued any official final death toll as the army spokesperson is the only official source who should be giving out this piece of information," said Khater.

The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for Thursday's attacks.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi linked the violence to the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that the deaths were a "price Egyptians were paying" for their ouster of the group's leader from the presidency in 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, denied any link with militant attacks and on Friday called on the Egyptian army to "return to their barracks" in order to prevent further bloodshed in Sinai.

Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and Minster of Defence Sedky Sobhi received the bodies of some of the victims at a military airport in Cairo after they were flown from Al-Arish in caskets draped in the Egyptian flag.

Short link: