Civilians killed in suspected drone attack in Sinai

Civilians killed in suspected drone attack in Sinai
Deaths come as restive province sees ongoing fighting between Egypt's military and armed groups on the peninsula.
2 min read
19 November, 2014
A drone, similar to this, was reportedly seen in the area [Getty]

A remotely piloted aircraft may be responsible for the deaths of at least ten civilians, including three children, in Egypt’s Sinai region on Tuesday, sources have told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

The victims were in a house hit by a missile in Rafah, an Egyptian city on the border with the Gaza Strip.

The sources said it was understood that the Egyptian air force did not have any remotely piloted drones and speculated the aircraft may belong to the Israeli air force.

Eid al-Marzouki, a Sinai-based researcher and analyst, said this was not the first time drones had been used in the restive Sinai province.

"The plane hovered in the area and when the people, including the judge Ahmed Nasser Abu Freij, went into their house, he and nine others were killed by a missile," Marzouki said.

According to medical sources, three children, three women and four men were among the dead.

Civilians targeted

Civilian casualties have been registered in the nearby town of al-Arish at least twice in the past few months.

The latest attack comes amid ongoing clashes between armed groups and military troops south of Rafah. Security sources confirmed ten civilians had been killed, but did not elaborate on the cause of their deaths.

Human rights activist Haitham Ghoneim has said the Egyptian military was responsible.

“The air force criminals bombed a house in Rafah, and about 10 bodies including women, children and elderly were taken to al-Arish hospital," wrote Ghoneim on his Facebook page.

"The Egyptian army are cowards who kill women and children while they sleep," he added.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.