At least 15 security personnel were killed in Egypt after Islamic State militants fired a mortar shell on a security checkpoint in the country’s restive North Sinai.
The mortar attack on the checkpoint in Al-Arish city killed 15 policemen yesterday, the interior ministry said in a statement. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest in months in the troubled region.
Updating the earlier toll of 13, the ministry said the deceased security personnel comprised 12 policemen and three officers. The security forces cordoned off the area and were investigating the incident.
The incident took place two days after five soldiers were killed and eight others injured when militants attacked an army checkpoint with mortar shell in Egypt’s Rafah city.
Egypt’s North Sinai has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
The attacks targeting police and military increased after the ouster of ex-Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 by the military following massive protests against his rule. Over 700 security personnel have reportedly been killed since then.
The military has launched security campaigns in the area, arrested suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.