Blackouts hit North Sinai as police pursue terrorists

The Rafa and Sheikh Zuwayed areas of North Sinai were hit by blackouts on Saturday after a power line was hit by gunfire as police were pursuing terrorists in the area.

According to a statement from the Electricity Ministry, the Masa’ed-Sheikh Zuwayed power line in North Sinai was put out of action, but efforts are being made to fix the line and restore power to the area, with the help of security forces.

Egyptian military and security forces have been battling a mounting insurgency in Sinai since the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi in June 2013.

Militants linked to the Islamic State terrorist group frequently conduct ambushes, mortar attacks and roadside bomb attacks in the North Sinai governorate.

In one of the largest single attacks, at least 15 police personnel were killed in an assault on a checkpoint in Arish, North Sinai. According to news reports, the attack was initiated by a car bomb at the checkpoint, followed by mortar fire.

Militants from the Sinai Province terrorist group, which is affiliated to Islamic State, later claimed responsibility.

In a typical attack, militants will detonate explosives and then fire on ambulance crews when they arrive to treat the casualties.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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