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Egypt: Militants challenge state of emergency, kill 23 soldiers in third attack this week

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The North Africa Journal- July 7, 2017:  At least 40 insurgents and 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed in a suicide bomb attack and subsequent battle in North Sinai on July 7, 2017. The suicide bomb attack targeted the military, after the bomber rammed his vehicle into a checkpoint controlling the entry into a military base in el-Barth Village, south of Rafah. An gun fight followed resulting in the killing of at least 40 militants.

The is the third critical incident recorded this week by MEA Risk‘s database. On Wednesday, 5 July, two soldiers and an army officer were killed following the explosion of an improvised explosive device in North Sinai on July 5, 2107. The attack, which took place in the city of Arish, also wounded 10 policemen as the security services have become renewed targets of militants following the month of Ramadan.

In Giza, three soldiers were also killed on July 5, 2017 after militants attacked a toll booth in Giza. The soldiers, two of whom were reported to be retired army officers, were gunned down while securing the booth in al-Ayyat.

These incidents have taken place as the Egyptian parliament endorsed a government request to extend a nationwide state of emergency until the end of September. The parliament unanimously approved the extension on July 5, 2017. The state of emergency started in April 2017, as attacks by militants continued, targeting civilians and minorities. The state of emergency gives the security services broader power, and can be sometimes abused. However, MEA Risk analysts believe these attacks are signals being sent to the military that even a state of emergency cannot reduce the tension in Egypt.

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The North Africa Journal is a leading English-language publication focused on North Africa. The Journal covers primarily the Maghreb region and expands its general coverage to the Sahel, Egypt, and beyond, when events in those regions affect the broader North Africa geography. The Journal does not have any affiliation with any institution and has been independent since its founding in 1996. Our position is to always bring our best analysis of events affecting the region, and remain as neutral as humanly possible. Our coverage is not limited to one single topic, but ranges from economic and political affairs, to security, defense, social and environmental issues. We rely on our full staff analysts and editors to bring you best-in-class analysis. We also work with sister company MEA Risk LLC, to leverage the presence on the ground of a solid network of contributors and experts. Information on MEA Risk can be found at www.MEA-Risk.com.