Monday 9 Jan 2017

North Sinai
File Photo: An Egyptian military vehicle is seen on the highway in northern Sinai, Egypt, in this May 25, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

The death toll of two separate attacks on two North Sinai Checkpoints early Monday has risen to nine people, with 21 others injured, Egypt’s state-owned MENA reported.

According to security sources who spoke with MENA, eight policemen and one civilian were killed while 11 policemen and 10 civilians were injured in the attacks.

The first attack took place at El-Matafe checkpoint in Al-Arish city and was executed by around 20 militants who tried to storm the checkpoint using rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), and an explosives rigged car, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior Monday afternoon.

The ministry said security forces were able to “fight off the terrorist attack,” killing five militants and injuring three others.

The statement added that security forces were able to detonate an improvised explosive device planted by the militants.

In a separate attack, the interior ministry said “another terrorist group” targeted El-Masaeed checkpoint on Egypt’s Ring Road, killing a police conscript during an exchange of fire with security forces.

The statement said the security forces were currently conducting a combing operation in the vicinity of the area to arrest the culprits.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, which come only a few days after the army said it had foiled a plot by militants to attack several North Sinai checkpoints on Friday. The army spokesperson said the forces were able to kill nine militants and injure 16 others last week.

The Egyptian army and police have been battling an entrenched Islamist insurgency for several years in North Sinai.

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