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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Daesh gunmen attack checkpoint by St. Catherine Monastery in Sinai

Gunmen attacked a checkpoint near the St. Catherine’s Monastery in South Sinai Tuesday evening, killing a member of the police service and wounding three others, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry. The gunmen had attacked on a motorcycle and fled the scene after the attack. A manhunt was still on at dispatch time this morning.

Daesh has laid claim to the attack in a statement on its affiliated Amaq site which was picked up Ahram Gate. None of the monks and priests at the monastery were harmed, a spokesperson for the monastery told Al Masry Al Youm, noting that the monastery has been under protection of the Armed Forces and Interior Ministry personnel for some time. The attack came a little over a week after the Palm Sunday terror attacks that 47 killed in churches in Alexandria and Tanta, with a victim reportedly succumbing to his wounds last night, Ahram Gate reported citing a statement from the Coptic Church.

The shooting had twin centers of gravity, targeting both the nation’s Christian community and tourism, with St. Catherine’s being a popular stop on the Sinai tourism map. Sources told Reuters that security had been put on high alert at tourist facilities across southern Sinai after the attack. News of the St Catherine’s attack leads news on Egypt this morning in the international press. See the New York Times, Fox News and Reuters for examples. The latter notes that the St. Catherine’s attack comes “just 10 days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt.”

Meanwhile, Al Shorouk is reporting that a person alleged to be involved in the Palm Sunday bombings has turned himself in to the authorities.

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