Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula
Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula AFP photo

Egypt’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said on Monday that the government has arrested 27 people suspected of involvement in an attempt to assassinate him last month.

Ibrahim told a press conference in Cairo that those arrested were affiliated with the Sinai Peninsula-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, reported Al Arabiya.

The group members were also involved in a church bombing in the capital last week, in addition to other terrorist attacks in the country, the report said.

In September, the group claimed responsibility for the failed assassination attempt, which occurred as a car bomb ripped through Ibrahim’s convoy as he was leaving home for work.

One person was killed but Ibrahim, who was travelling in an armored car, survived the attempt unhurt.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is an extremist Salafist group that has in the past claimed responsibility for an attempted rocket attack on the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of his successor, Mohammed Morsi.

The Egyptian armed forces have launched large scale military operations against terrorists in Sinai in an attempt to suppress the insurgency. The terror groups have hit back - a torrent of attacks by gangs of Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic terrorists have killed over 100 Egyptian soldiers and policemen since Morsi's overthrow.

Meanwhile, judicial sources in Egypt said on Monday they were continuing to investigate a claim by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis that ex-Egyptian army officer Waleed Badr carried out the suicide bombing last month in the assassination attempt on the interior minister.

Judicial sources said that Egypt had ordered forensic authorities to take a blood sample from a member of Badr’s family to match it with fragments of the man who carried out attempt.