An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in Bir al-Abed (North Sinai governorate) on Saturday, October 24, killing at least four civilians and injuring four others. The Egyptian army recently permitted civilians to return to their villages in the Bir al-Abed district following three months of intensive operations against the IS-affiliated Sinai Province militant group. Militants reportedly planted IEDs throughout the area prior to being expelled by security forces, including within homes. Five explosions have been reported since the return of the villagers, killing at least 13 people. The villagers have called on the army and the government to carry out bomb-clearing operations in the area.
A heightened security presence is anticipated in the vicinity of the incident, along with disruptions to overland travel. Similar incidents are to be expected in North Sinai province over the near term.
Those in North Sinai should never approach or touch any unfamiliar objects, but immediately report any such items to police or local authorities. Travelers should exercise a heightened level of caution in remote areas where IEDs may remain a threat.
Those 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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