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ISIS-linked group kills 30, mostly soldiers, in Egypt

ISIS-linked group kills 30, mostly soldiers, in Egypt

Militants fired a barrage of rockets and set off a car bomb in a series of attacks on Thursday in restive north Sinai, killing at least 27 soldiers, three civilians and injuring 60 others, officials said. Two children, one of them 6 months old, were among the dead.

The attacks targeted the headquarters of the North Sinai security directorate in the provincial capital of Al-Arish, a nearby army base, a hotel and several security checkpoints, state TV and the Ahram Arabic news website reported. “Militants fired mortar rounds and used car bombs in the attacks,” Egyptian TV reported. “At least three missile shells and a car bomb were used in separate attacks,” a source said.

In a separate attack, an officer was killed when a rocket struck an army checkpoint in the town of Rafah, on the border with the Gaza Strip. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi cut short his visit to Ethiopia, where he was attending a summit of the African Union, following news of the attack.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the Egyptian wing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, claimed responsibility for the attacks in the area, where the army is battling an Islamist insurgency that has raged since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The group in November last year pledged allegiance to the ISIS that has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. The attacks are the deadliest assaults on security forces in recent years. In October last year, militants killed at least 33 security personnel in the Sinai Province.

Meanwhile, a police officer was killed in a bomb blast targeting a police building in the Canal city of Suez. The officer was on duty when the explosion occurred. The attack took place shortly after the serial attacks in North Sinai.  Last week, the curfew in parts of North Sinai was extended for another three months. The curfew was initially imposed?on October 25 following the attack of soldiers.

Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip. Egypt’s Sinai has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since January 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Agencies

Agencies

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