North Sinai — As hundreds of people jammed the weekly Tuesday market in the middle of volatile Sheikh Zuwayed, several men armed with high-caliber machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades took up positions in houses with strategic views of the town's infamous police compound. They then proceeded to barrage the heavily guarded building with rockets and bullets, setting their crosshairs on Egyptian security personnel ducking behind sandbags on the rooftop.
As the security forces exchanged fire with the attackers on the town's main boulevard, a vehicle loaded with explosives raced across the main square and into the massive, steel front gate of the compound. A deafening explosion destroyed the gate, an armored vehicle stationed behind it and parts of the compound wall. The widows of dozens of neighboring houses shattered, and the fronts of some 30 shops lining the opposite side of the street were destroyed along with part of the mosque beside the compound. Miraculously, only four bystanders were injured.