Egypt police officers killed in Islamic State attack in North Sinai

Seven police officers have been killed in a jihadist attack in restive North Sinai, Egypt’s interior ministry said Wednesday, June 26.

The attack near the regional capital El-Arish targeted an “assembly center” for police, according to the ministry.

Four assailants died “during clashes” following the attack, one when he detonated an explosives belt, it said.

A civilian was also reported killed and a woman and child were injured.

The attacks come just weeks after Egyptian security personnel were killed in similar assaults on security posts near Arish.

On June 5, Egypt’s interior ministry said eight personnel, including two officers, were killed when militants attacked the Batal-14 checkpoint south of Arish. The ministry did not confirm reported attacks on two other checkpoints run by the military but the independent news website Mada Masr said 10 police officers had been killed. Islamic State propaganda agency Amaq later claimed ISIS fighters from its Sinai province affiliate killed 10 Egyptian security forces.

In response to the attack, security forces carried out a raid on a suspected Islamic State hideout in North Sinai on June 6, in which the interior ministry said 14 suspected militants were killed.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide offensive against the Islamist militants, focused mainly on North Sinai.

According to official figures, around 665 insurgents have been killed since the start of the operation, while the army has lost some 50 soldiers.

No independent statistics are available and the region is largely cut off to journalists, making verification of casualty figures extremely difficult.

With reporting from AFP

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