IS group claims responsibility for attack on checkpoint near Egypt's St Catherine's Monastery

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Apr 2017

Saint Catherine
Saint Catherine's monastery in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

The Islamic State (IS) militant group has claimed responsibility for an attack on Egypt's St Catherine's security checkpoint late Tuesday that killed at least one policeman and injured four others.

The group announced its responsibility shortly after the attack via its AMAQ News Agency, with a statement reading: “Islamic State fighters carried out the attack.”

According to the interior ministry, a policeman was killed and four others were injured at South Sinai’s St Catherine's security checkpoint.

The ministry gave details of the attack, saying that a group of militants opened fire on the checkpoint, which is located on a road leading up to St Catherine's Monastery near the summit of Mount Catherine.

Police forces exchanged fire with the militants until they gained control of the situation, causing the attackers to flee the scene, the ministry added.

The attack on the famous monastery and one of the most prominent tourist hotspots in South Sinai comes nearly one week after the country was hit with twin deadly bombings on Coptic Orthodox cathedrals, reportedly carried out by two suicide bombers, on Palm Sunday in Al-Gharbeya’s Tanta and in Alexandria, which left 47 people dead and dozens injured.

The IS group claimed responsibility for last week’s attacks.

Cairo has imposed an extendable nationwide three-month state of emergency and deployed the armed forces to aid police in protecting vital institutions.  

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