Sinai car bomb kills at least 10 Egypt soldiers

November 20, 2013 10:17 am
 Egyptian miltary trcuks loaded with light tanks line up in el-Arish ahead of an operation to restore security in northern Sinai on August 9, 2012/AFP
Egyptian miltary trcuks loaded with light tanks line up in el-Arish ahead of an operation to restore security in northern Sinai on August 9, 2012/AFP

, Cairo November 20- A car bomb struck an army convoy killing at least 10 soldiers Wednesday in the Sinai, where security forces have been repeatedly targeted since the ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president, the army said.

It said in a statement that 35 others were wounded, including some hospitalised in serious condition.

The bomb struck near El Arish, regional capital of North Sinai, a security official said, adding that an explosives laden parked car exploded as the convoy passed.

A bus carrying soldiers on leave took the brunt of the blast at around 7:45 am (0545 GMT), the military said.

The bombing was the deadliest in the Sinai bordering Gaza and Israel since an August 19 ambush by gunmen on a convoy of security forces that killed 25 policemen in the North Sinai town of Rafah.

That attack was the bloodiest in the Sinai Peninsula in several years.

On September 5, a car bomb also targeted Egypt’s interim interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.

Dozens of soldiers and policemen have been killed in near daily attacks in Sinai, especially since the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

Egypt’s army has poured troops and armour into the restive peninsula to crush militant activity.

Egypt’s security forces are also engaged in a sweeping crackdown on Islamist supporters of Morsi in other parts of the country.

The crackdown has resulted in more than 1,000 people being killed and more than 2,000 arrested nationwide since the middle of August.

Morsi himself and several of his aides and members of his Muslim Brotherhood movement have been put on trial.

Despite the crackdown, Morsi’s supporters, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, have regularly staged protests in Cairo and other key cities against the ruling military-installed government.

They, however, did not participate in demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that turned violent late Tuesday when one person was killed by birdshot as riot police stormed the square.

Police backed by armoured vehicles fired tear gas and shots after clashes in the square to scatter protesters who had gathered to mark the anniversary of deadly November 2011 demonstrations.

The crowds were marking the anniversary of protests against the military, which ruled Egypt between president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow and his now deposed successor Morsi’s election in 2012.

Egypt is divided between Morsi’s supporters and those of the military that overthrew him, but Tuesday’s protesters accused both sides of betraying the goals of the 2011 uprising that ousted Mubarak.

In November 2011, at least 43 protesters were killed over several days of clashes with police in Mohamed Mahmud street just off Tahrir Square.

The November 19 clashes were the first serious revolt faced by the military junta that had taken charge after Mubarak’s resignation in February 2011.

The military handed power to Morsi in June 2012 but ousted him a year later following mass protests demanding his resignation.

Some of the protesters on Tuesday night had been enraged by a monument inaugurated in the square on the eve of the anniversary.

They accused the government and police of revising the history of the Mohamed Mahmud carnage amid a wave of pro-military nationalism following Morsi’s overthrow.

Mahmoud Hisham, a 21 year old student, said: “The revolution is still not over. In three years, we’ve had three systems and three traitors Mubarak, the military and the Brotherhood.”

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