Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi cut short his visit to Ethiopia for an African Union summit on Friday following an attack by Islamic State’s Egyptian wing which claimed the life of at least 30 soldiers and police officers in the Sinai Peninsula. Reuters report:
The four separate attacks on security forces in North Sinai on Thursday night were among the bloodiest in years and the first significant assault in the region since the most active Sinai militant group swore allegiance to IS in November.
Militant attacks in Sinai, while far from Cairo and tourist attractions, has crimped government efforts to project an image of stability to woo back foreign investors and tourists driven away by frequent political violence since a popular uprising four years ago that overthrew veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Sisi left Addis Ababa after meeting with the Ethiopian premier following the AU summit’s opening session, an Egyptian official there told Reuters.
Most of Thursday’s casualties occurred in the bombing of a military hotel and base in al-Arish, the heavily guarded Sinai provincial capital.