Late Tuesday, the Islamist militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility in a video for a bombing in northern Sinai, Egypt, in which six police officers were killed. The video, posted on Twitter hours after the bombing, showed the attack of an armored police vehicle on a road between Arish, the capital of North Sinai, and Rafah, a Gazan border town. On YouTube, the video was posted along with an open Koran, an AK-47 assault rifle, and the group's black flag.
The group has carried out a series of attacks over the past year in retaliation for the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi and the Egyptian government's crackdown on supporters of the now-outlawed Brotherhood and its affiliated organizations. Earlier this month, the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis killed 11 police officers in another roadside bombing.
Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian foreign minister, has said that Egypt may not provide support to the latest U.S. declared battle against the Islamic State, because the Egyptian military is fully engaged in its campaign against militant groups in its own country. “We did not discuss this (Egyptian military support against the Islamic State) and no one asked this of us. We always say that the mission of the Egyptian army is to protect the Egyptian people and the country’s borders.”
Armed Islamist groups have killed hundreds of Egyptian police and soldiers, especially in the Sinai, since the coup against Morsi.