The sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press, said armed insurgents targeted an armored army vehicle with an RPG rocket in the early hours, but failed to hit it.
The sources said that “the explosion did not cause any casualties despite the loud noise,” adding that “the armed men escaped after firing the rocket, and the armored vehicle could not chase them.”
The attack came as the Egyptian army and police launched a series of raids in the city and throughout the peninsula.
Col. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, an armed forces spokesman, said: “On Sunday, members of the Second Army and central police units stormed and searched a number of villages and the industrial area in Al-Arish, as well as the areas around Al-Arish Airport, where four armed terrorists were arrested in possession of a firearm, ammunition and high explosives.”
The same day, armed forces and police carried out a search operation in the villages south of Sheikh Zuwaid in northern Sinai. Eyewitnesses reported that a huge explosion rocked Al-Zhuour and Al-Masa’id districts in Al-Arish amid the sound of gunfire in various areas of the city. No reports were received regarding any casualties.
On Sunday, the spokesman of the armed forces said on Facebook that “officers from the armed forces and the interior ministry arrested a suspect attempting to escape an armed forces’ ambush set up east of the Tafri’ah area during a security operation in Sinai and Suez Canal cities and a number of governorates. Thirteen suspects including six Palestinians without identification papers, and others with expired visas were also arrested.”
Second Army officers also arrested 12 suspects in two cars trying to break through an ambush set up by the police and army on the Isma’iliyah–Abu Hamadah road. They included seven Sinai Bedouins and two Palestinians, according to security sources.
The military spokesman said a number of items were recovered, including three cameras, communications equipment, two laptops with recordings of Takfirist speeches, and a number of plans for operations targeting security forces.
The authorities also said another 11 suspects were arrested for attempting to attack a police station in Rummanah, as well as killing a member of the armed forces and incitement to kill officers in Sinai.
In a related issue, the Al-Qassem Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, announced the death of one of its men, Qassami Saleh Youssif Al-Bashiti, from the Tall El-Sultan district in Egyptian Rafah, south of Gaza. Medical sources said he was killed by an electric shock in one of the tunnels in Rafah.