Egypt policeman dies in gunmen attack near Sinai monastery

Jerome Frank
April 19, 2017

IS-affiliated militant group in Egypt claimed responsibility for the twin attacks.

According to the officials, the gunmen were shooting from an elevated hilltop overlooking the police checkpoint just outside the monastery, which is located in a remote desert and mountainous area in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

The attack on the security checkpoint near the Saint Catherine monastery, which is one of the oldest Christian monasteries and the main tourist attraction in South Sinai, comes two weeks after the bombings of Orthodox Churches in Alexandria and Tanta killed over 45 people on Palm Sunday.

A successful assault on St Catherine's would be the latest challenge to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has pledged to protect the religious minority as part of his campaign against extremism.

A state of emergency already in place in northern Sinai has failed to halt near-daily attacks against police and security forces by ISIS in the volatile area.

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Egypt has been suffering anti-security attacks mainly in North Sinai, where IS takes a base of its attacks.

Egypt's Chri st ian minority, which makes up about 10% of the country's 92 million people, has increasingly been targeted by Islami st militants, with three deadly church attack s in the span of four months.

Attacks in South Sinai, however, have been rare in recent years.

The attacks have raised security fears ahead of a visit to Cairo by Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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