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Blasts near hotel in Egypt’s el-Arish claim four lives

At least four people, including one election judge, have been killed in bomb explosions targeting an area outside an Egyptian hotel in North Sinai, state media reports say.

The blasts occurred outside the Swiss Inn hotel in the North Sinai city of el-Arish on Tuesday, killing the election judge monitoring the parliamentary elections in Egypt and a policeman, among others. At least 12 others were also wounded in the bombings.

State television and security forces said the first blast went off after police forces opened fire at a man who attempted to drive his car into the hotel.

The second bombing struck the area minutes later.

The area has been closed off by police forces.

The violence comes a day after polling stations closed in the second round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections. The first round was held on October 18 and 19.

The general election is the first to be held in Egypt since 2011, after the revolution that ousted the country’s long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Although no group or individual has yet claimed responsibility for the bombings, the Wilayat Sinai (Sinai Province) terrorists, affiliated to the Takfiri Daesh group, has claimed similar attacks in the region in the past, including a deadly bombing of a Russian passenger plane in the Sinai Peninsula on October 31.

Over the past years, the militants have been carrying out anti-government activities, taking advantage of the turmoil caused in the country after democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power by the military in July 2013.


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