Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis behind New Valley militant attack: Police

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Jan 2017

The perpetrators of an attack on a New Valley security checkpoint that killed eight policemen on Monday were members of Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, state-owned Al-Ahram daily newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing preliminary police investigations.

The 12 militants who executed the attack received training in North Sinai, according to investigators.

Shortly after the Monday evening assault, Egypt's interior ministry issued a statement saying that two of the "terrorist assailants" were killed by police in the attack.

The militants escaped into the Western Desert using off-road vehicles, with security forces currently conducting security sweeps of the area.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This is not the first time the New Valley governorate has been the site of a militant attack.

In 2014, 21 army soldiers were killed in an attack claimed by Ansar Beir Al-Maqdis militants, who fired machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades on a border checkpoint in the Farafra Oasis.

The attack came one day after the interior ministry said police killed leading Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis figure Hamdan Hussein during a raid on a house in North Sinai's El-Arish.

Egypt’s army and police forces have been waging a war over the past three years against an Islamist militant insurgency in North Sinai that has seen hundreds of security personnel killed, as well as hundreds of terrorists killed in security campaigns.

Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for the majority of attacks against security personnel and installations in the restive North Sinai.

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