10 Egyptian Soldiers Killed By Islamist Militants In North Sinai

At least 10 Egyptian soldiers were killed when a car bomb planted by suspected Islamist militants exploded at a military post in North Sinai, a military spokesman said on Wednesday, adding that 22 “terrorists” had also been killed.

Other security sources said that at least 30 soldiers had been killed in a wave of attacks targeting at least six military checkpoints. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials said militants took other soldiers captive and seized several armoured vehicles south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, prompting many residents to leave their homes.

A Sinai-based insurgency has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the Egyptian army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 following weeks of mass protests against his rule. The military has launched a huge operation in Sinai targeting the jihadists and has begun building a buffer zone on the border with the Gaza Strip to stem the flow of militants and weapons from the Hamas-ruled enclave.

The most active militant group in the region is Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (the Partisans of Jerusalem), which pledged allegiance to Islamic State group late last year.

Egypt’s top public prosecutor was assassinated earlier this week in a car bomb attack on his convoy in Cairo, raising questions about the country’s ability to contain the growing insurgency and prevent it from bringing unrest to capital.
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