North Sinai — The Egyptian branch of the Islamic State extremists claimed responsibility for a bombing in the Swiss Inn hotel at North Sinai on Tuesday. At least seven people were killed during the attack, including one of the judges staying for Egypt’s parliamentary elections.
According to the military and a witness, an IS militant attempted to bypass security and drive a car bomb into the hotel, but security staff opened fire against the vehicle and it exploded.
They also explained that a suicide bomber managed to enter the hotel’s restaurant and blow himself up, leaving 17 people wounded, according to the Health Ministery. Another militant carrying a gun broke into the guest rooms area and shot down a judge.
Mohamed Mahana, the hotel manager, recounted the events taking place during the attack with more detail. He says that even though security forces shot the suicide bomber’s car and his tires blew up, the man kept driving until he reached the hotel entrance, where the vehicle exploded.
The manager reported that a second suicide bomber entered the restaurant through the beach area, broke the window and blew himself up. The third militant who broke into the guest rooms area shot passersby before killing the judge. He was then taken down by an official.
While the military and a witness assured the attack was executed by three IS militants, the Interior Ministry said there were only two, a confusion which was not immediately clarified.
Sympathizers of ISIS were fast to claim responsibility for the assault through a statement they posted on social media, which said that the attack had been carried out by two militants — the man driving the car bomb and the gunman, who later blew himself up. They posted pictures of both men, identified as Abu Hamza al-Muhajer and Abu Wadhaa al-Muhajer, but they didn’t bring up or offered any evidence about the third man mentioned by the military.
Overall, it is believed that the terrorist attack claimed the life of a civilian, two judges, and four policemen. All the attackers were also killed.
The bombing took place after the second round of voting for Egypt’s parliamentary elections, which the judges staying at the hotel were responsible for monitoring by operating polling stations and observing the voting process.
This is not the first time the organization has attacked the country, as they’re seeking to overthrow the government in Cairo.
“This brutal incident is a failed attempt to hinder the state from building its institution but we assure all that it will increase the drive and insistence of the armed forces and the Interior Ministry to weed out the roots of terrorism in North Sinai,” remarked a military statement.
Source: New York Times