IS Claim Hotel Attack That Killed 7 in Egypt’s Sinai

CAIRO  (Reuters) -

Islamic State’s Egyptian branch claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed at least seven people in a hotel in North Sinai on Tuesday where judges overseeing a parliamentary election were staying.

A terrorist tried to drive a car bomb into the hotel in the provincial capital al-Arish before security forces opened fire, causing the car to explode, the military and a witness said.

A suicide bomber broke into the hotel restaurant and blew himself up and a gunman entered the guest rooms area and killed a judge, they said. Seventeen people were wounded, the Health Ministry said.

The group has carried out similar attacks in the region as part of its bid to topple the Cairo government.

IS said two of its members carried out the attack. The Interior Ministry said there were two terrorists but the military and a witness said there were three terrorists. It was not immediately possible to clarify the contradiction.

Two judges, four policemen and a civilian were killed, the Interior Ministry said. The military said the three terrorists were killed.

The blasts followed Monday’s second round of voting in Egypt’s parliamentary election.

Egyptian elections are monitored by the judiciary with judges running polling stations, observing the voting and counting ballots.

“This brutal incident is a failed attempt to hinder the state from building its institution but we assure all that it will increase the drive and insistence of the armed forces and the Interior Ministry to weed out the roots of terrorism in North Sinai,” a military statement read.