Egypt army hits Sinai militants; new group claims Cairo bomb

Sat Feb 8, 2014 1:57pm EST
 

By Tom Perry

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Egyptian army said on Saturday it had killed 16 Islamists in Sinai, and a new group said it carried out a bomb attack on police in Cairo, underscoring the widening scope of militant violence since the army removed Mohamed Mursi from power.

The army said its aircraft hit radical Islamists near Sinai's border with the Gaza Strip on Friday evening. A statement described them as belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, which denies government accusations it has turned to violence.

The army has been trying to wrestle control of North Sinai from armed Islamists who have turned their focus from Israel to the government since Mursi, a Brotherhood member, was deposed in July following mass protests against his rule.

The state has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group. The Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful activism.

The army said on Saturday a roadside bomb planted to target military personnel had been defused in Sinai.

While many of the attacks on the security forces have been focused in Sinai, bombings and shootings have become increasingly regular and lethal in the Nile Valley and Delta.

A statement issued by the new militant group - Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt - claimed responsibility for two bombings in Cairo that targeted the Egyptian police on Friday and vowed to carry out more attacks against the security forces.

Ajnad Misr emerged late last month, claiming responsibility for six attacks at the end of January, according to SITE. "(The security forces) are not safe from retaliation which is pursuing them," its statement said.   Continued...