Three Egyptian security officers were wounded Sunday morning in a surprise attack by jihadists on Egyptian government headquarters in northern Sinai. The terrorists shelled the security base with a barrage of heavy artillery, firing mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.
The attack apparently came in response to an assault in the wee hours of the morning by Egyptian army regulars on a terrorist base in Sheikh Zuweid, a village in northern Sinai. According to a report published in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm a-Sabi, dozens of armored vehicles and attack helicopters were involved in the government's overnight assault on the terrorist base.
The Egyptian government has become determined to wrestle with the issue of terrorist bases flourishing in the region, and terrorism emanating from the Sinai Peninsula.
Although no group claimed responsibility for the attack, an Al Qaeda-linked terror organization calling itself Jund al Shari'a which had announced its formation on August 1 has carried out similar other operations, and has threatened to attack U.S. and Egyptian forces if certain demands are not met.
It was the Jund al Shari'a that allegedly was responsible for a recent attack on Egyptian security personnel that left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead, stole two Egyptian armored personnel carriers, and infiltrated more than half a mile into Israeli territory before the operatives were located and eliminated by the IDF.
Egypt's attack on the jihadist terror base came in response to an attack Friday night by 60-70 terrorists on an international peacekeeping force at a base in the Gora region in the Sinai Peninsula, some 40 kilometers south of el-Arish and close to the borders of Israel and Gaza.
Among those stationed at the site were soldiers from Colombia and the U.S. New Mexico National Guard, according to a statement published in the Albuquerque Journal. Four members of the Multinational Force & Observers unit were wounded in the attack by the "Bedouin gunmen," but none were Americans, according to the report. The terrorists reportedly raised the black Al Qaeda flag over the base before leaving the premises.
The Multinational Force & Observers unit exists in Sinai to monitor the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
Egyptian sources said the government's security forces had chosen to attack operatives they believed were linked to those who had attacked in the international force on Friday night.