FACTBOX: Egypt's Sheikh Zuwied - a Sinai town in the crosshairs

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Jul 2015

Sheikh Zuwied

Sheikh Zuwied town is located in North Sinai and is the site of ongoing clashes between security forces and militants affiliated with the Islamic State-affiliated Sinai Province, previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

Sheikh Zuwied has witnessed numerous militant assaults on security forces since an upswing in violence following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The last major of these attacks took place in October last year when at least 30 security officers and soldiers were killed in a militant assault on Karam Al-Qawadis checkpoint.

- Sheikh Zuwied is located between the cities of Al-Arish and Rafah. It lies at a distance of 334 kilometres from Cairo and 16 kilometres from Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip.

- According to figures released by Egyptian officials in 2010, the North Sinai town is inhabited of 55,000 residents who are spread over 14 suburbs and four main tribal clans. The tribes, Al Sawrka, Al Romylat, Abu Rayash and Tarabin, are considered to be the largest of Sinai’s Bedouin tribes.

- Agriculture is the main occupation of the residents in the town.

- In May, the Tarabin tribe announced that it would participate in the fight against Islamist insurgents alongside the military.

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