Sci-tech

Iran condemns ISIL's terrorist attack in Sinai

Iran condemns ISIL's terrorist attack in Sinai”

At least 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when two suicide vehicle bombs tore through army checkpoints in North Sinai province on Friday, security sources said, one of the bloodiest assaults on security forces for months. The force at the compound is estimated at 60 troops.

"Law enforcement forces in northern Sinai succeeded in thwarting a terrorist attack on some checkpoints south of Rafah", the army statement said. The terrorists drove in two vehicles and blew themselves up as they passed through an army checkpoint.

The security sources said another 26 soldiers were injured in Friday's attacks.

Earlier, an Egyptian army spokesman, Tamer el-Rifai, confirmed the attack on Facebook. The army posted photos of five dead militants in blood-soaked fatigues lying in the sand, though it did not identify which militant group it believed the men belonged to.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The jihadists in the Sinai pledged allegiance to the Daesh group in late 2014, establishing the self styled "Sinai Province" on the peninsula, which borders Israel as well as Gaza.

Though the IS affiliate has not managed to seize territory in Sinai it has a strong presence in the western and southern area of Rafah in the peninsula, on the outskirts of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, and inside the residential area of Sinai's largest city, el-Arish.

IS has also killed dozens of people in attacks targeting Egypt's Coptic Christian minority elsewhere in the country, and claimed it planted the bomb that brought down a plane carrying tourists in Sinai in 2015, killing 224 people on board. About 100 Copts have been killed in such attacks in mainland Egypt since December.

_Ashraf Sweilam in El-Arish, Egypt.



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