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Militant blast, gun attack kill 18 police in Egypt’s Sinai

Daesh claims responsibility as death toll of terror amounts to hundreds in peninsula

By Reuters - Sep 11,2017 - Last updated at Sep 11,2017

ISMAILIA, Egypt — Militants attacked a security convoy in Egypt's strife-torn Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 18 policemen in a blast and a gun battle on Monday, sources said — an assault claimed by the Daesh terror group.

The attackers detonated an improvised explosive device and managed to destroy three armoured vehicles and a signal-jamming vehicle near Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, the security and medical sources said.

The attack turned into a gunfight and the militants also opened fire on ambulance workers, injuring four, the sources told Reuters. 

At least 18 policemen, two of them officers, died in the violence, and a brigadier general lost a leg in the blast, several sources at Arish hospital said.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted by its news agency Amaq.

The Sunni Muslim militants are waging an insurgency in the rugged, thinly populated Sinai, aiming to topple the government of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. 

Militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and police there since the military’s ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

At least 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when suicide car bombs tore through two military checkpoints in North Sinai in July, in one of the bloodiest assaults on security forces in years.

The interior ministry said several policemen were killed or injured in the attack, without giving figures.

The prime minister's office called it a "traitorous incident".

 

"Prime Minister Sherif Ismail affirmed the state's determination to fight these criminal actions that target the safety and will of citizens with its full force," a government statement said.

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