CAIRO: The U.S. condemned Sunday a terror attack that targeted a security checkpoint in Arish and claimed lives of 18 policemen Saturday evening, according to a statement from U.S. embassy in Cairo.
“We convey our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and we wish those wounded a speedy recovery,” the statement read.
The United States affirmed its support to Egypt in its fight against the terrorism and “in their pursuit of a stable, democratic, and prosperous country,” the statement continued.
El-Safa checkpoint south of Arish was hit with a mortar shell, causing the casualties among personnel, according to the initial investigations. The Islamic State group (IS) affiliate in Egypt has claimed responsibility for the attack, AP reported.
The attack is the most recent wide-scale attack on security facilities and personnel in the restive northern tip of the Peninsula. Another one occurred July 1, 2015, killing some 21 soldiers.
In its prolonged fight to purge terrorism in the area, the army has launched series of strikes and crackdowns that resulted in killing and arrest of hundreds of alleged militants.