01/30/2015, 00.00
EGYPT - ISLAM
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27 soldiers and police die in four Islamic State attacks in Egypt

A military hostel and the headquarters of the newspaper al-Ahram Al-Arish destroyed; car bomb in Rafah; an attempt to blow up a power station in Port Said. For now, the Suez Canal remains safe. The attacks reveal a high level of coordination.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Egyptian branch of the Islamic state has claimed today a series of attacks carried out late in the day yesterday, which led to the death 27 soldiers and police.

The attacks reveal a high level of coordination and timing. The first attack took place in Al-Arish with a bombing at a military hostel in northern Sinai, which killed 25 people and wounded 58, including nine civilians. The local office of the newspaper al-Ahram, opposite the hostel, was "completely destroyed".

Later, militants killed a major and wounded six other soldiers in a checkpoint in Rafah, near Gaza. Later there was a car bomb explosion in south of Al-Arish, which injured four soldiers. Finally, there was an attempt to blow up a power station in Port Said, but the militant was killed.

By posting phrases and photos of the militants via Twitter, the attacks were claimed by the group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, once close to al Qaeda. Last year, it allied with the Islamic State, changing its name to "Waliyat Sinai", Province of Sinai.

Attacks in Al-Arish and Rafah are quite common after the fall of Mohamed Morsi and exclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood from the power. The attack on Port Said concerns the government more because the area is closer to the Suez Canal, the sea route that supports the Egyptian economy.

The Arab Spring of 2011 and disorder following Morsi's time in power have reduced foreign investment and tourism. So far the revenues from the Suez Canal remain unchanged or have dropped only slightly.

President Abdelfattah al Sisi has promised to revive the Egyptian economy, providing more security, although many critics accuse him of cracking down even on citizens.

 

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