At least 18 Egyptian police killed in attack on Sinai convoy

12 September, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • 18 dead in IS attack on convoy in Egypt

Earlier on Sunday, Egypt's official MENA news agency said nine militants were killed and five policemen injured in the raid.

Four armoured vehicles were destroyed due to roadside bombs and a fifth one carrying signal jamming equipment.

It did not provide any casualty figures, but the attack appears to have been the deadliest on security forces in Sinai since July, when at least 23 soldiers were killed in a suicide auto bombing that targeted a checkpoint near the Gaza border.

They then opened fire with machine guns at survivors of the blast.

In Monday's attack, the police convoy was travelling along the road between el-Arish and Qantara when a suspect vehicle tried to break through it, according to an interior ministry statement.

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At least 26 Egyptian soldiers were killed or wounded on July 7, 2017, in attacks on checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula.

The attack took place about 30 kilometers (nearly 19 miles) west of al-Arish in northern Sinai, the epicenter of a long-running insurgency now led by the terrorist group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief media.

Egypt's military and security forces have been battling various Islamist militant groups, mostly in North Sinai, though militants have carried out attacks elsewhere in the country. According to the military, thousands of militants have been killed in the operations held against them. Police said the militants had sneaked into Cairo from the volatile northern Sinai.

Monday's attack came a day after authorities said they had busted an extremist cell planning attacks in Cairo. In recent years there has also been a wave of attacks, mainly targeting security forces, blamed on a splinter faction of Morsi's banned Muslim Brotherhood group.

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