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North Sinai bomb kills at least four

Islamist militants are waging an insurgency in North Sinai's el-Arish [AFP]

Date of publication: 24 November, 2015

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At least four people were killed and 14 injured in a a car bombing on Tuesday outside a hotel in North Sinai's city of el-Arish, according to state media.
At least four people were killed in a car bombing on Tuesday outside a North Sinai hotel hosting judges who had been overseeing Egypt's parliamentary election, officials said.

Fourteen others were injured in the blast outside the Swiss Inn hotel in el-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai where Islamist militants are waging an insurgency, state media reported.

"One judge was among those killed and two civilians are among the injured," said Khaled Megahed, the health ministry spokesperson. "They were treated in el-Arish public hospital, while 12 were transferred to a nearby military hospital."

Security forces opened fire on a suicide bomber as he was driving a car bomb into the hotel. The car exploded and the bomber died, the army said in a statement.

According to the statement, another attacker wearing an explosive belt snuck into the hotel's kitchen and blew himself up, while another gunman went up to one of the hotel rooms and opened fire, killing judge Omar Hammad.
     This brutal incident is a failed, desperate attempt to hinder the state
- Egyptian army spokesperson

"This brutal incident is a failed, desperate attempt to hinder the state," an army spokesperson said in a statement. 

"We emphasize that [this incident] will strengthen the persistence and determination of police and the armed forces to root out terrorism in North Sinai," the statement added.

State television aired footage of shattered hotel windows and a charred limb, and car parts flung into a hotel terrace by the blast.

Egypt held its second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday and Monday, its first legislative vote since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Morsi's ouster unleashed a deadly police crackdown on his followers, and fuelled an Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

Militants there who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

They also claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian passenger plane after it left the south Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on 31 October, killing all 224 people on board.

Unlike the north of the peninsula, which has become a militant stronghold and is off limits to tourists, south Sinai is dotted with heavily secured Red Sea resorts.

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