Bedouin tribe member killed in IS affiliate attack in Egypt's North Sinai

Bedouin tribe member killed in IS affiliate attack in Egypt's North Sinai
An attack by an Islamic State-affiliated group on a Bedouin force supporting the Egyptian army in military operations in northern Sinai killed one force member
2 min read
08 December, 2021
The conflict between the Egyptian army and militants in Sinai has intensified since 2013 [AFP/Getty-file photo]

An Islamic State-affiliated group in Egypt’s Sinai killed a member of a tribal Bedouin force working alongside the Egyptian army on Tuesday evening.

The Wilayat Sinai (Sinai State) group attacked the Bedouin force as they combed the area south of the Gaza border city of Rafah, tribal sources told The New Arab’s Arabic sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Ibrahim Muhammad Abu-Helo, a 50-year-old resident of Rafah, was killed in the attack, the sources said.

Dozens of citizens have returned to their destroyed Bedouin villages south of the northern Sinai city of Sheikh Zuweid in the past few days after being forced to leave, due to ongoing fighting between the army and extremists in the Sinai Peninsula.

A girl was injured after a device exploded as residents returned to their villages, sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. She is in a stable condition, the sources said.

The conflict between Egyptian forces and militants in the Sinai peninsula bordering Israel intensified after President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took power in 2013, followed by the formation of IS affiliate Wilayat Sinai (Sinai State) a year later.

Egypt had reportedly evicted thousands of Sinai residents by force, destroying more than 12,300 homes and nearly 15,000 acres of farmland between 2013-2020.

Around 1,000 militants have been killed in the fighting, according to Egyptian military figures.

The civilian toll of the conflict is not known, however, as the Egyptian government has maintained a media blackout on independent reporting from the Sinai.