AL-ARISH, Egypt, (Reuters) – A Palestinian man lobbed a grenade at Egyptian police who confronted him near the Gaza border on Thursday as he tried to smuggle a suicide bomb belt into Egypt, security sources said.
None of the police officers were injured but the 26-year-old attacker was seriously hurt by shrapnel.
The sources said Abdel Shafie Jabr Maraheel was suspected of having entered Egypt illegally via a smuggling tunnel on the border with the Gaza Strip. They could give no information on what he may have been planning.
Bombers have hit Red Sea resort areas in the Sinai peninsula three times since 2004, killing more than 100 people in attacks Egypt blames on a group of Islamists from the Sinai Bedouin community with militant views.
The Egyptian sources said police had tried to stop Maraheel north of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, but he fled and then threatened to detonate a grenade he was carrying.
Police fired warning shots in the air, and Maraheel threw the grenade, a source said. Maraheel was in hospital with internal bleeding.
Egyptian police regularly seize explosives and ammunition in Sinai, sometimes hidden in tunnels near the Gaza border. In March, Egyptian police arrested a suspected Palestinian suicide bomber they accused of planning an attack in Israel.