Factbox: Key violent incidents in Sinai since 2004

Since the fall of ex-President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, the Sinai Peninsula has been a hotspot for violence, with frequent attacks on the police and tourist kidnappings.

Violence peaked when 16 security guards were killed at the border with Israel last year.

After the kidnappings of several tourists and one peacekeeper earlier this year, last Thursday, seven soldiers were abducted on their way back to camp east of the city of Arish, in North Sinai.

Sinai, which is also known as the land of turquoise, accounts for six percent of Egypt's total surface area and has 554,000 residents. Its strategic value gained greater significance after the 1967 war, when Israel occupied it until 1982.

Despite Egypt regaining control of the peninsula in 1982, local residents in Sinai, mainly Bedouin tribes, have been long complained of being marginalized and neglected by the government in Cairo.

They also claim to have been mistreated by the police, especially after the terrorist bombings that rocked the Peninsula in 2004, 2005 and 2006, killing around 120 people, mostly Egyptians. Hundreds of local residents were arrested and tortured by the police, according to local human rights non-governmental organizations.

Following is a timeline of key incidents in Sinai since 2004:

October 2004

Bombings in the border seaside town of Taba kill 34 people. No violence had been reported in the Sinai for seven years since the Luxor massacre in 1997.

July 2005

Bombings in the tourist resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai, kill 67 people, mostly Egyptians. Another 200 people were injured in what came to be considered the worst terrorist attack in the history of Egypt. Members of a group called Al-Qaeda Organization in the Levant and Egypt claims responsibility for the incident.

April 2006

Bombings in the tourist resort town of Dahab, South Sinai. Twenty-three people are killed in the incident. A group called al-Tawheed wal Jihad claims responsibility for the incident.

4 February 2011

Four policemen are abducted in Sinai while securing the Rafah border.

August 2011

Two Central Security conscripts are killed in southern Rafah in Israeli raids targeting militants believed to have taken part in attacks in Eilat that led to the killing of Israelis.

11 December 2011

A 10-year-old and a 76-year-old are abducted by masked militants in Arish, North Sinai.

2 February 2012

Two American tourists are abducted at gunpoint on their way from Mount Sinai to Sharm el-Sheikh.

4 February 2012

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim decides to replace the South Sinai security chief due to repeated tourist abductions.

10 February 2012

Three Korean tourists and a tour guide are abducted near the Saint Catherine Monastery, South Sinai, by unknown men.

18 March 2012

Two Brazilian tourists are abducted in Sinai at gunpoint.

22 March 2012

Armed men abduct a Czech tour guide after attacking a tourist bus on the road between Nuweiba and Dahab, South Sinai.

30 April 2012

Rumors that the South Sinai governor was abducted are dismissed by Major General Mahmoud el-Hefnawy, South Sinai security chief.

30 May 2012

Two American tourists are abducted in Nuweiba, South Sinai.

June 2012

Two conscripts are killed and five policemen injured in an armed attack on a checkpoint in Wadi Feiran near Mount Sinai in South Sinai.

13 July 2012

Two American tourists are abducted in Central Sinai by a tribal group demanding the release of an arrested drug dealer.

August 2012

Sixteen security guards are killed by armed masked men at a border checkpoint in Rafah, as they break their fast during the month of Ramadan.

6 March 2013

A British couple is abducted in South Sinai by an armed group to push for the release of suspects arrested by Egyptian authorities.

22 March 2013

Masked men abduct an Israeli and a Norwegian tourist in Dahab, South Sinai.

11 April 2013

Unknown men abduct a Hungarian soldier serving in the peacekeeping forces operating in Sinai to exert pressure for the release of a suspect arrested on charges of smuggling fuel.

16 May 2013

Seven police and army conscripts are abducted on their way back to their camp east of Arish in North Sinai.

Back to top button