On Tuesday, June 6, two police officers were killed by gunmen suspected of being Islamic State (IS) militants in northern Sinai. IS also released a statement on Tuesday, claiming that they executed four spies that were working for the Egyptian police and that they destroyed an army vehicle near a checkpoint west of Sheikh Zuweid. However, neither event has been independently confirmed.
The restive Sinai peninsula, and in particular its northern area, frequently experiences terrorist attacks conducted predominantly by IS affiliates; counter-terrorist operations are regularly carried out by the Egyptian security forces. Arish in particular has been a hot spot for attacks in the region. The road between Arish and Hasna has previously been targeted, including an incident on January 23 when five soldiers were killed. Elsewhere throughout the peninsula's northern and central regions, Sinai province fighters regularly strike Egyptian army patrols with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and sniper fire, and periodically mount larger attacks on security checkpoints.
The security environment in Egypt remains complex. Although travel is permissible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel. Due to the high risk of terrorist attacks and kidnapping, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to North Sinai province.