Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a presidential decree on Tuesday extending the state of emergency in Sinai for three months as of Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Sisi had declared a state of emergency and a curfew in October 2014 in the border province for an initial three months in reaction to a militant attack that 33 security personnel killed.
On Oct. 24, 2014, a suicide bombing and a subsequent gun attack in Sheikh Zowaid in northern Sinai killed more than 30 security personnel. The ISIS-affiliated Sinai Province group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The state of emergency imposed in a number of areas in Sinai has been renewed several times since.
In parallel, the Egyptian military says it has killed hundreds of “terrorists” in the context of the “Martyr’s Right” military operation which was also launched by the security forces also in response to the Oct. 2014 attack.
North Sinai militants have stepped up attacks targeting security forces since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
The Sinai peninsula was liberated from Israeli control in 1982 but is currently at the epicentre of militancy which has surged since July 2013, particularly in the northern part.