At least three people have been reported killed and two more injured in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula as the nation’s president extended a seven-month-old curfew imposed on parts of North Sinai for another three months.
Medical sources in al-Arish stated on Saturday that the casualties came as the result of armed clashes between Egyptian security forces and militants in the area on a day that coincided with what the government in Cairo referred to as the 33rd anniversary of Sinai liberation day.
The day marks the anniversary of the withdrawal of Israeli soldiers occupying the Egyptian territory following the US-sponsored Camp David Accord between then-Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and the Tel Aviv regime.
Meanwhile, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s former army chief, issued a decree on Saturday renewing the state of emergency imposed on parts of the restive North Sinai since October 25, 2014, when a car bomb attack perpetrated by ISIL-linked Takfiri terrorists killed 31 Egyptian army troops and wounded 30 others.
The presidential decree is to go into effect on Sunday, further extending a night-time curfew that was being enforced.
Since the ouster of Egypt’s first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi in a military coup in July 2013, militants have launched terrorist attacks in Sinai, killing hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police officers.
The Egyptian army is conducting a wide scale operation targeting ISIL-linked terrorists there.