Sinai Jihadists Claim Attack Which Killed 30 Soldiers

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, Egypt's deadliest terrorist group, claims responsibility for a suicide attack last month that killed 30 soldiers.

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Al-Qaeda supporters in the Sinai
Al-Qaeda supporters in the Sinai
Reuters

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, Egypt's deadliest terrorist group which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), claimed responsibility for a suicide attack last month that killed 30 soldiers, AFP reported on Saturday.

The group made the claim in a video posted on social media, according to the report.

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has killed scores of policemen and soldiers since the army overthrew Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi last year, but the October 24 attack in which a jihadist rammed a military checkpoint in northern Sinai with an explosives-packed car was the deadliest such incident in years.

It said it was acting in retaliation for a crackdown on Islamist supporters following Morsi's removal from power.

At least 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown, while more than 15,000 have been jailed and hundreds sentenced to death.

In the video, the group promises further attacks against the security forces and said it was speaking directly to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Morsi and unleashed a crackdown on Islamists.

The October attack caused Egypt to declare a state of emergency in the lawless Sinai Peninsula, and has also resulted in Egypt beginning to form a “buffer zone” alongside the border with Gaza. Egyptian security sources have said that the deadly attack was aided by none other than Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Earlier this week, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis pledged its allegiance to ISIS in Iraq and Syria, in a bid to boost recruitment and bolster its fight against the Egyptian army, according to analysts.