ISIS suicide bombers kill four in assault on North Sinai hotel

Friday 20/11/2015
Elaborate attack

CAIRO - Islamic State (ISIS) group suicide bombers killed four people, including a judge, in an assault Tuesday on a North Sinai hotel hosting judges overseeing Egypt's parliamentary polls, the government and jihadists said.

The interior ministry said a judge, two policemen and a civilian were killed in the blasts at the Swiss Inn hotel in the town of El-Arish, the provincial capital of North Sinai where Islamist militants are waging an insurgency.

The Islamic State group's Egypt affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted online.

The first blast was triggered by a suicide car bomber followed by a militant who set off an explosive vest, the ministry said in a statement.

A third attacker sneaked inside a hotel room and shot dead the judge, the military said.

It said both bombers set off their explosives when police confronted them and traded shots with the attacker wearing the explosives vest.

The ISIS statement said only two attackers, whose pictures it published, took part in the assault, adding one of them used an automatic rifle inside the hotel before blowing himself up.

Two judges, eight officers and conscripts and two civilians were wounded in the blasts, the interior ministry said.

The military said 12 people were wounded, including soldiers and policemen.

State television aired footage of shattered hotel windows and a charred limb, and car parts flung into a hotel terrace by the blast.

Egypt held its second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday and Monday, its first legislative vote since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Morsi's ouster unleashed a deadly police crackdown on his followers, and fuelled an Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

Jihadists in the Sinai who have pledged allegiance to IS have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

They have also claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian passenger plane after it left the south Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.

Unlike the north of the peninsula, which has become a jihadist stronghold and is off-limits to tourists, south Sinai is dotted with heavily secured Red Sea resorts.