CAIRO: Gunmen killed three policemen and a soldier in Egypt’s Sinai region yesterday, security sources said, and Islamist militants released a video of an earlier drive-by shooting of an army colonel, highlighting growing security risks to the government.
Violent disorder has gripped the Sinai Peninsula since the army overthrew elected President Mohammed Mursi, an Islamist, in July.
In the latest bloodshed, gunmen killed two policemen as they ate breakfast outside a police station in the city of El Arish in North Sinai. A police officer out walking elsewhere in the city was fatally shot in the head and chest. Gunmen also killed a civilian in the nearby town of Sheikh Zuwaid.
The security sources also confirmed that gunmen had killed a colonel, identified as Mohamed Al Komi, on August 14 on a desert highway near the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.
Later yesterday, gunmen targeting an armoured personnel carrier stopped at a checkpoint killed a soldier in El Arish, the state news agency reported.
Almost daily attacks by Al Qaeda-inspired militants in the Sinai have killed more than 100 members of the security forces since Mursi’s ouster, the army spokesman said on September 15.
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in a speech yesterday that the police were capable of “repelling thuggery and terrorism”, the state news agency MENA reported.
Sinai militants have published online footage of some of their attacks.
In a video posted on a jihadi website yesterday, a group calling itself “Al Nusra Battalion” shows what appears to be footage of security forces firing on Mursi supporters.
The video then shows what it says was the attack on Colonel Komi on August 14, the day security forces crushed pro-Mursi protest camps in Cairo, killing hundreds of people.
A man with an assault rifle is filmed aiming from a car window and shooting at another vehicle driving on a desert road.
“Targeting the criminal apostates and liquidating them,” a caption reads.
A picture of the uniformed officer flashes on the screen next to the car seen in the drive-by shooting, a back window pocked with bullet holes and blood running down the driver’s door after what appears to have been a well-planned assault.
The video says Al Nusra Battalion is a unit of “Al Firqan Brigade”, a militant group that took responsibility for an attack this month on a container ship in the Suez Canal.