Monday, 25 November 2013

Sinai jihadists target Egyptian troops with suicide bomb

A suicide bomber slammed a vehicle-borne explosive device (VBIED) into a bus carrying Egyptian troops between Rafah and el-Arish, AP reported November 20...11 soldiers were killed and 35 were wounded...The Egyptian troops, in agreement with Israeli security forces, were deployed to destroy militant tunnels along the southern border of Gaza...More than 100 Egyptian soldiers have been killed over the last two months by jihadists retaliating to Cairo’s ongoing security clampdown in the Sinai...Suicide VBIEDs are a significant escalation in any conflict, but in Egypt they are extremely rare...Even though the explosion occurred near the border with Gaza on the Sinai it still targeted Egyptian troops and not Israeli troops, indicating the attack was responding to recently destroyed arms caches and militant hideouts...The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) in Cairo is working hard to keep jihadists under control by focusing on al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in the Sinai, hoping the lawlessness and radical Islamism thriving in the peninsula does not spread westward...There are still some ongoing protests in Cairo by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) supporters which the SCAF hope to keep unconnected to the Islamist terrorism elsewhere...From the SCAF’s perspective, if bombs keep exploding far near the Israeli border just who the jihadists were targeting or who is responsible will be ambiguous...The closer the bombs creep to Cairo however – and the closer the militants align with MB supporters - the more politically dangerous they become. 

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