Egyptian security forces arrest suspected ter
Egyptian security forces arrest suspected ter Reuters

Egypt’s Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, on Sunday extended a curfew in parts of North Sinai by another three months, the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

The curfew was initially imposed on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Egypt’s deadliest terrorist group, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.

Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, explaining the move was necessary because Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai.

As part of the buffer zone plan, the Egyptian military is seizing and evacuating homes belonging to Gazans. Egypt recently began to double the size of the buffer zone, after the governor of North Sinai declared that the only way to put an end to terror in Sinai is to completely raze the Egyptian side of Rafah.

The Egyptian army has been waging war against jihadists in the restive Sinai, and has killed hundreds of terrorists.

Sinai-based Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has have declared responsibility for most of the attacks in the area. Among the attacks claimed by the group since the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS).