Two more bombs in Egypt's Sinai

2015-02-14 21:46
Egyptian soldiers man a checkpoint in el-Arish, 290 km east of Cairo, North Sinai, Egypt. (AP Photo)

Egyptian soldiers man a checkpoint in el-Arish, 290 km east of Cairo, North Sinai, Egypt. (AP Photo)

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Cairo - Two suicide car bombs wounded six people on Saturday when officers fired on the vehicles as they approached a police station in the restive Sinai Peninsula, officials said.

The brazen daytime attack occurred in the town of Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai where security forces are battling an Islamist insurgency.

The bombings came after a deadly militant assault last month killed 30 soldiers in North Sinai.

"The two cars were driven by suicide bombers who wanted to blow up the Sheikh Zuweid police station," a security official said describing Saturday's attack.

"Security forces fired at the cars as they approached the police station. The vehicles exploded, killing the two suicide bombers."

Two other cars that were carrying gunmen and were following the suicide bombers fled the scene, however, the official said, adding that security forces were searching for them.

Those wounded in the attack included a police officer, a policeman and four civilians, officials and medics said.

Militants have regularly launched spectacular attacks against security forces in the Sinai Peninsula where the army has poured troops and armour to fight the insurgency.

The insurgency has peaked since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, with scores of policemen and soldiers killed in a string of raids.

Militants say their attacks are in retaliation to a government crackdown targeting Morsi supporters that has left hundreds dead.

Thirty soldiers died on 29 January in near simultaneous attacks in North Sinai, the deadliest of them was in the provincial capital of El-Arish when militants fired rockets and set off a suicide car bomb targeting a military base.

A similar attack launched on 24 October also near El-Arish killed 30 soldiers, after which authorities imposed a state of emergency and curfew in parts of North Sinai.

Since the October attack security forces have also built a buffer zone in the town of Rafah bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip to prevent militants from entering the peninsula.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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