An Al-Qaeda inspired jihadist group on Sunday vowed new attacks in Egypt as it claimed two suicide bombings that were carried out a day before the presidential campaign began.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) said it carried out Friday’s attacks, which targeted a checkpoint and a nearby bus outside the South Sinai provincial capital Al-Tur.
A soldier was killed and six policemen were wounded by the first bomber. Five civilians were wounded by the second.
The Sinai-based group, which has claimed some of the deadliest attacks in Egypt since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, called for a revolt against the military-installed authorities
“We will not rest until we avenge the blood and bodies of Muslims,” the group said in a statement posted on jihadist forums, referring to the killing of Morsi supporters in a brutal police crackdown launched after his ouster.
Amnesty International says more than 1,400 people, mostly Islamist supporters of Morsi, have been killed since he was overthrown.
The military ousted Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected and civilian president, amid massive protests demanding his resignation, with critics accusing him of betraying the ideals of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis said it was “responsible for the two attacks” on Friday, and urged “Egyptian people to revolt against this oppressive regime … and not just hold peaceful protests”.
Militants have stepped up bombings and shootings across Egypt since Morsi’s ouster and the authorities say that nearly 500 people, mostly members of security forces, have been killed in the attacks.
Friday’s attacks came a day before campaigning for the May 26-27 presidential election began.
Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is the frontrunner in the election, with leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi as his only rival.
Sisi became Egypt’s most popular political figure after he removed Morsi from power, and is widely expected to succeed him.