18 soldiers killed in ISIL ambush in Egypt's Sinai

Posted September 12, 2017

The violence surged after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013, which was followed by a crackdown on the main Muslim Brotherhood group that has killed hundreds and led to the jailing of thousands more.

Militants attacked a security convoy in Egypt's strife-torn Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 18 policemen in a blast and a gun battle on Monday, sources said - an assault claimed by Islamic Sta te.

The assailants, whose identities were not yet known, later opened fire at survivors and commandeered a police pickup truck.

At least 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when suicide vehicle bombs tore through two military checkpoints in North Sinai in July, in one of the bloodiest assaults on security forces in years.

A security guard gestures near the site of an attack that killed at least 26 people in Minya, Egypt May 26, 2017.

According to the country's security and military officials, militants on Monday first detonated a number of roadside bombs that destroyed and set ablaze four armored vehicles and another one, which was carrying equipment used for signal jamming purposes. The wounded included a police brigadier general.

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The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a brief statement carried by its propaganda "Amaq" news agency.

The attack occurred near the town of El-Arish, administrative centre of province Northern Sinai.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

In March, the military said militants killed 10 soldiers during an army raid in Sinai's central region.

Police said they killed 10 extremists in two simultaneous raids on apartments in a densely populated Cairo neighborhood. One of the militants, they said, died when an explosive device he meant to use against the policemen went off prematurely, killing him instantly.