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Militants attack convoy in Egypt’s Sinai, kill 18 police

EL-ARISH (Egypt), Sep 11 (Agencies)
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Published on 12 Sep. 2017 12:45 AM IST
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Militants ambushed a police convoy in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Monday, killing 18 police and wounding seven others, according to security and military officials, in one of the deadliest attacks this year in the turbulent region.
The police and military officials said the attack began with roadside bombs that destroyed and set ablaze four armored vehicles and a fifth one carrying signal jamming equipment. The gunmen later opened fire with machine guns and commandeered a police pickup truck. Among those killed were two police lieutenants. The wounded included a police brigadier general.
The attack took place about 30 kilometers (nearly 19 miles) west of el-Arish in northern Sinai, the epicenter of a long-running insurgency now led by the extremist Islamic State group. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media. Monday’s attack was the deadliest against security forces since July, when Islamic State militants attacked a remote army outpost in the border town of Rafah, killing 23 soldiers. That was the deadliest attacks in two years.
In March, the military said militants killed 10 soldiers during an army raid in Sinai’s central region.
Egypt has battled militants in Sinai for years, but the insurgency became far more deadly after the 2013 military ouster of Mohammed Morsi, an elected Islamist president. In recent years there has also been a wave of attacks, mainly targeting security forces, blamed on a splinter faction of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group.
Monday’s attack came a day after authorities said they had busted a militant cell planning attacks in Cairo. Police said they killed 10 militants in two simultaneous raids on apartments in a densely populated Cairo neighborhood. They said the militants sneaked into the capital from northern Sinai.
IS claims responsibility
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the ambush of a police convoy in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that Egyptian officials said killed 18 police and wounded seven.
The claim of responsibility for Monday’s attack was carried by the extremist group’s Aamaq news agency.
Egyptian police and military officials said the attack began with roadside bombs that destroyed and set ablaze four armored vehicles and a fifth one carrying signal jamming equipment. The gunmen later opened fire with machine guns and commandeered a police pickup truck.

 
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