Egypt officials: Bombs kill 3 security forces in Sinai

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Two roadside bombs exploded in restive northern Sinai Peninsula killing three members of Egypt’s security forces and wounding 10 others, officials said Friday.

The bombs went off near separate checkpoints in the town of Sheikh Zuweid late Thursday, said two security officials and a medical official, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The officials didn’t say who was responsible for the attacks and no one immediately claimed responsibility. But Egypt has been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in the Sinai that intensified after the military overthrew an Islamist president in 2013. The militants have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and minority Christians.

The first explosion Thursday night left one dead and seven wounded, while the second killed two and wounded three, the officials said. The casualties were transferred to El-Arish military hospital.

Also on Thursday, the Egyptian military carried out a series of raids in the same town killing four militants, officials said. It wasn’t clear if the raids took place before or after the bombings.

The conflict in Sinai has largely taken place out of public view, with journalists and outside observers barred from the area. The fighting has so far not expanded into the southern end of the peninsula, where popular Red Sea tourist resorts are located.

In February 2018, the military launched a massive operation in Sinai that also encompassed parts of the Nile Delta and deserts along the country’s western border with Libya. Since then, the pace of Islamic State attacks in Sinai’s north has diminished.

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