At least five soldiers and a man whose occupation is yet to be revealed were wounded on Saturday when a car bomb exploded near an army intelligence building in Ismailia, northeast of Cairo, security sources and state media said.
The sources said another undetonated car bomb was found while security personnel were sweeping the area. The force of the blast caused part of the military intelligence building’s wall to collapse, one of the sources said.
Army recruit Abdel-Salam El-Sayed, 24, suffered a 3-cm wound to the head, while Mohamed Saber, a 21-year-old soldier, sustained a back injury and a 6-cm wound to the head.
Senior Warrant Officer Ahmed El-Shafei, 40, suffered a 4-cm wound to the head. All three were rushed to the Military Galaa Hospital, according to Al-Ahram’s Arabic website.
Sergeant Ahmed Ibrahim, 32, was wounded in the eye and was taken to the Public Hospital, while 20-year-old Abdel-Ghani Mostafa sustained a 2-cm wound to the neck. The latter was treated at the scene.
Abdel Kader Ahmed, a 58-year-old man who lives in the area, is in a coma, Al-Ahram reported. He suffered injuries to the torso and abdominal area and is now in the University Hospital.
Egyptian military spokesperson Ahmed Ali has labelled the explosion a “terrorist attack” against the Egyptian people. “This is a continuation of a series of cowardly terrorist attacks committed by sectarian factions against the people of Egypt,” he added in a Facebook statement.
A surge in violence against army and police forces has hit the largely lawless Sinai peninsula, adjoining the Palestinian Gaza strip and Israel.
Militants mostly based in North Sinai have escalated attacks on security targets since 3 July, when the army deposed president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and installed a new government in response to mass protests acorss the nation against his rule.
The Brotherhood, now outlawed in Egypt, called his ouster a coup, whereas the army says it was responding to the will of the people.
Security forces have killed hundreds of the movement’s supporters since August, when they dispersed two protest camps. Over the past months, a number of security personnel have also been killed in the recurrent violence.
The Egyptian army launched a large military operation in Sinai in September to clear it of armed militants, seizing weapons including anti-aircraft missiles and hand grenades.