Masked men last Friday, 16 June, attacked a bakery in the North Sinai town of al-Arish and shot to death its Muslim owner, 45-year-old Ayman Zaki Sanad, in front of his wife and children. It is believed they killed him because they suspect he is a police informer.
General Sayed al-Habaal, Security Director of North Sinai, said that the masked gunmen in all probability belong to a militant jihadi group in Sinai. The killers fled through the desert road out of Arish once they had shot Sanad.
Arish, which is close to the Egypt-Gaza border, is notorious as a stronghold for Islamist militants who quarter themselves in the cave-riddled mountains in the region. Last February, Arish Copts made an exodus out of their hometown and relocated elsewhere in Egypt in the wake of a string of threats against and killings of Copts [http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/coptic-affairs/coptic-exodus-from-al-arish/19144/]. And in May, a Copt who thought of going back to his hometown of Arish and resuming his business there was killed [http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/sectarian/islamists-shoot-dead-arish-copt-returned-home/20023/] Now it appears the terrorists have taken their violence to new levels by targeting Arish Muslims too.
The Egyptian Armed Forces are waging a bitter battle against the militants in Sinai, and have achieved significant victories against them. It is believed that the attacks by the Islamists against civilians come in revenge for their defeat at the hands of Egypt’s military.
18 June 2017