Two blasts in Egypt’s Sinai province injure peacekeepers

Six soldiers, four Americans injured in two blasts in northeast Sinai Province

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

An Egyptian armored vehicle patrols on the Egyptian side of the border, seen from the south of the Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 2, 2015.

The Pentagon said on Thursday, two blasts in northeast Sinai Province injured six soldiers, including four Americans, the blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices.

Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement that the Multinational Force (MFO) and observer peacekeepers “were evacuated by air to a medical facility where all are receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.”

Major Roger Cabiness said that the four Americans were struck by the second blast as they were going to provide help to the soldiers injured in the first blast.

Around 650 Americans are currently in Sinai, assigned to the MFO, which was established in accordance with 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Sinai peninsula is located in a strategic place where Israel connects with the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal.

Northern Sinai has been facing insurgency against security forces, since the armed forces led by General Abdel Fattah el Sisi seized control of Egypt in July 2013, arresting government officials along with top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hundreds of troops and military vehicles were sent to the biggest build-up in the demilitarised zone since Egypt's 1973 war with Israel.

"The Pentagon remains concerned about the deteriorating security conditions in the region," Cabiness said.

"We are considering what, if any, additional measures might be needed to ensure force protection. This includes bringing in additional equipment if necessary," he told Reuters.

The deposed Mohamed Morsi was elected as Egypt’s president in June 2012, making him Egypt’s first democratically elected leader. Cairo’s Criminal Court sentenced him to death for breaking out of jail in 2011, despite deciding to revise a previous death sentence for espionage down to 25 years in prison.

The success of Egyptian military counter-terrorism operations in the Sinai has been highly questionable, with attacks frequently continuing to occur. As a result, a curfew has been imposed in the area since last October.


TRTWorld and agencies