Bombs damage two shrines in Egypt's Sinai

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 04, 2013 7:39 PM
Bombs damage two shrines in Egypt's Sinai

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) - Two Islamic shrines were damaged by bomb attacks in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, the state news agency said, in a region where Islamist militants have stepped up attacks against the state since the army deposed President Mohamed Mursi.

One of the shrines targeted was near the North Sinai town of Bir el-Abd, and the other was in the area of el-Maghara farther south. Both were badly damaged.

Often dedicated to saints or descendants of the Prophet Mohammad, such shrines are forbidden according to the puritanical Islamic vision of the militants operating in the area.

Militants mostly based in North Sinai have escalated attacks on security forces and other targets since July 3, when the army deposed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood and installed a new government in response to mass protests against his rule.

The militants have struck on an almost daily basis and killed around three dozen people, according to medical officials. Many of those killed were members of the security forces.

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Doina Chaicu)