Egypt says deadly extremist attack hits Sinai checkpoint

2019-02-17 11:12
A picture taken from the Rafah border of the southern Gaza Strip with Egypt shows smoke billowing in Egypt's North Sinai. Twenty-six Egyptian soldiers were killed or wounded in attacks on checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula where the Islamic State group is conducting an insurgency, the military said.(File: AFP)

A picture taken from the Rafah border of the southern Gaza Strip with Egypt shows smoke billowing in Egypt's North Sinai. Twenty-six Egyptian soldiers were killed or wounded in attacks on checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula where the Islamic State group is conducting an insurgency, the military said.(File: AFP)

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Egypt's military spokesman says extremists have attacked an army checkpoint in the troubled northern Sinai Peninsula, causing 15 casualties, including the killing of at least one officer.

In a Saturday statement, Col. Tamer Rifai said the army managed to kill seven of the extremists during the dawn firefight, but did not give any further information on the army's own casualties.

The army has for years been battling a long-running insurgency in North Sinai that is now led by an Islamic State affiliate. The fighting intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013.

Authorities heavily restrict access to the northern Sinai, making it difficult to verify claims related to the fighting.

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