Islamic State (IS) militants have reportedly claimed responsibility for killing four people after conducting an attack in Abu Tawila village, south of Sheikh Zuweid (North Sinai province) on Monday, July 6. According to unconfirmed media sources, at approximately 12:00 (local time) a militant suicide bomber detonated himself and then a group of militants stormed the area. Media sources suggest that the civilian tribal groups in the area are often targeted by militants for cooperating with Egyptian security forces. Clashes ensued resulting in several fatalities and several others wounded. IS claimed to have seized weapons and ammunition during the clashes. Further details are awaited.
Similar attacks and counter security operations are to be expected in North Sinai province over the near term.
Egyptian security forces are in the middle of a counterterrorism operation named "Sinai 2018" that aims to neutralize militant and terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula, Nile Delta, and the Western Desert. Egypt frequently conducts raids on suspected militant groups following terrorist attacks. The raids' targets are not typically confirmed by independent reporting and foreign tourists have previously been killed in similar operations.
Individuals in Egypt are advised to monitor the situation, refrain from traveling to North Sinai province, 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 over the near term. Adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and your home government.
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