Militants Kill 3 in Attack on Judges' Hotel in Egypt's Sinai

  • Multi-pronged attack involved two suicide bombers and gunman
  • At least 12 other people, including security forces, wounded

Militants attacked an Egyptian hotel housing judges monitoring elections in restive North Sinai, killing three people in the latest assault on government efforts to restore order.

The militants attacked the Swiss Inn hotel on three fronts. A bomber driving a booby-trapped car was speeding barreling toward the facility in the city of Al-Arish when security forces opened fire, and the vehicle exploded, the military spokesman said on his official Facebook page. A second assailant entered the hotel’s kitchen and set off his explosive belt, while a third sprayed another room with gunfire. Two policemen and a judge were killed, and all the attackers died. Twelve people, including security forces, were wounded.

The attack was the latest in an area that has been the center of a war between President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s administration and militants allied with the Islamic State group. The organization’s local affiliate has claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian jetliner shortly after takeoff from a Sinai resort last month. That crash killed all 224 on board, threatening to derail a nascent tourism recovery in Egypt.

The judges were in the area overseeing the second phase of Egypt’s parliamentary vote, which ended Monday. The election was billed by officials as the final stage in the nation’s transition to democracy after the 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. The uprising more than four years ago set in motion a cycle of unrest and violence that fueled a foreign investor exodus from the Arab world’s most populous nation. Egypt’s economic growth has only started to regain some momentum, although net international reserves remain at less than half their December 2010 levels.

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