Egypt's Sinai was shaken with the attacks of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) linked militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis on late Thursday. The attacks left at least 32 dead including two children and more than 50 wounded. Egyptian security officials said rockets were first fired at police offices, a military base and a military hotel in El-Arish, before a car bomb exploded at the rear gate of the military base. The group simultaneously targeted several military checkpoints. Cairo-based al Ahram newspaper reported that its office in El-Arish, which is opposite the hotel and base, had been completely destroyed. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi who led the bloody military coup that overthrew the first democratically elected president of Egypt, Mohammad Morsi, cut short his trip to Ethiopia to join the African Union summit. His office said he was returning home to deal with a wave of deadly militant attacks. The Egyptian army launched a major operation against the militants.
International community including the U.S. and Turkey condemned the deadly attacks. Egypt has long been tackling with the militants and is creating a one kilometer-deep buffer strip along the border with Gaza by clearing houses and trees and destroying subterranean tunnels it says are used to smuggle arms from the Palestinian enclave to militants in Sinai. Residents of Sinai, who complain they have long been neglected by the state, say many rely on smuggling goods through the tunnels for their livelihoods and the creation of the buffer zone has stoked resentment. Families living near Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip have begun emptying their homes due to clashes between security forces and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Egypt generally claims that there is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. However, the group strictly rejects the claims and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has never confirmed it. Also the Muslim Brotherhood has condemned the last attacks.