A suicide car bomber targeted a police base in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula early on Tuesday, killing one civilian and wounding 24 police conscripts, security officials have confirmed.
Egypt has been fighting terrorist in northern Sinai for many years but the series of attacks against army and police increased since the 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
In Tuesday’s attack, the bomber drove up to the gates of the compound in the city of el-Arish. His refusal to slow down prompted police to open fire at the car, which set off the explosives inside the vehicle, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The civilian killed in the attack was a passer-by, a driver for the nearby electricity company. Most of the policemen were wounded by shrapnel.
Later, Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif said that the bomber was trying to reach a nearby hotel where a large number of police officers reside.
On Sunday, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir, the official spokesman of the armed forces, said that Egyptian troops and helicopter gunships have killed 70 militants in northern Sinai in the first week of March, arrested 23 suspects and seized big quantity of weapons and ammunitions.
Apart from Sinai, smaller attacks and bombings have also been carried out in Cairo and other cities across Egypt. The attacks have raised fears ahead of a major economic conference later this week aimed at attracting foreign investments.