Two killed in suicide bombing in Egypt’s North Sinai

A suicide bomber killed two people in Egypt’s restive North Sinai region on Thursday, a day after four headless bodies were found there.

The victims of the bombing were a civilian and a member of the security forces, security and medical sources said.

The bomber was shot before he reached a military checkpoint, his intended target, but his explosive belt detonated and killed the soldier and civilian, an Egyptian military spokesman said in a statement.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq website, saying five members of the security forces were killed or wounded.

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Multiple armed groups, some linked to ISIL, are active in the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt’s army launched a major operation there in February last year.

Thursday’s bombing took place at a car park in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, near the border with the Gaza Strip.

Separately, two security sources said four headless bodies were found in an empty street in the North Sinai town of Bir al-Abd on Wednesday. Their families reported the four men, aged 23 to 51, had been kidnapped.

Fighters stopped several cars before taking five people away and forcing them to lie down on the ground, a security source and three residents said. They killed four and kidnapped the fifth.

ISIL claimed responsibility for the beheadings, saying the four were spies for the Egyptian military. Security services were hunting down the perpetrators.

Egypt’s State Information Service could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Egyptian military, which launched its campaign in Sinai after an attack on November 2017 on a mosque in which hundreds of worshippers died, says hundreds of fighters have been killed.

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