Militants kidnapped a Christian traveling in North Sinai province on Thursday, January 17. The assault reportedly took place some 30 km (19 mi) west of Al-Arish. Police officers reportedly pursued the militants following the attack, engaging the militants in a gunfight; two police officers were wounded in the exchange of fire. Security forces indicate they could not free the kidnapping victim. Similar militant attacks targeting Christians are possible in North Sinai province over the near term.
Egypt frequently conducts raids on suspected militant groups following terrorist attacks. Security forces are also in the middle of a counterterrorism operation named "Sinai 2018" that aims to neutralize militant and terrorist groups operating in the Sinai, Nile Delta, and Western Desert. The targets of the raids are not confirmed by independent reporting and foreign tourists have previously been killed in similar operations.
Individuals in Egypt are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, report suspicious behavior and objects to the authorities, remain vigilant when visiting areas vulnerable to terrorist attacks (e.g. tourist sites, churches, international and government buildings, public transportation hubs, etc.), and anticipate similar security operations in the near term.
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