Egypt: Rafiah Explosion Destroys Part of Intelligence Building
An explosion in the Egyptian city of Rafiah near Gaza destroyed part of an intelligence building, Al Arabiya reported on Saturday night.
According to the report, large numbers of security forces were deployed at the scene of the explosion and sealed off the area while search for possible explosives was underway.
The cause of the blast was not immediately known, but Egypt has been fighting terrorists in Sinai for several months, noted Al Arabiya. The collapse of the former regime and the deterioration of security conditions in Egypt created a security vacuum in the desert peninsula.
The lax security was exploited by terrorists who have attacked both Egyptian and Israeli forces. Egyptian security forces launched a campaign to crush terrorists in the restive Sinai, after an attack on an army outpost killed 16 soldiers on August 5.
There has been a state of high alert in the Sinai in the wake of the attack.
Last month, Egypt's Interior Ministry raised the alert level for its security forces in southern Sinai due to a warning over possible jihadist operations in the area.
The ministry warned local police stations and security personnel to be alert to potential attacks on tourists in the area by terrorists from the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group.
One of the most common acts of terrorism in the Sinai since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak has been to attack the pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Jordan and Israel. The pipeline has been blown up at least 15 times since Mubarak’s fall.
A branch of the Al-Qaeda terror group based in Sinai claimed responsibility in July for the repeated attacks on the pipeline.