CAIRO: Five military forces were killed and five others were injured after two roadside bombs exploded in a passing convoy in Arish of North Sinai Tuesday morning, amid a military campaign that was launched against militants in the restive peninsula.
The two bombs detonated near two armored vehicles when a military convoy was passing by along Arish-Sheikh Zuweid Raod in North Sinai, Youm7 reported a security official as saying who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The dead bodies and injured personnel were transported to Arish hospital, while the area has been closed, he added, noting that the militant Islamic State affiliate in Egypt is likely be responsible for the attack.
Egyptian military forces, in cooperation with the ministry of interior, recently launched phase three of a campaign titled “The Martyr’s Right” against terrorists in North Sinai, particularly in Arish and Sheikh Zewuid.
Military Spokesperson Mohamed Samir said in a statement Monday evening that military forces have killed 16 militants in North Sinai over the past two days, adding the forces detonated a total of 24 roadside bombs in highways and side roads, and destroyed 19 houses and 16 cottages inhabited by the militants.
Hundreds of military and police officers have been killed in roadside bomb attacks in Sinai where the militant group, the Islamic State, has a footing.
Since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 by the military, Egypt has seen a significant increase in militancy. The Ministry of Interior announced that militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.
Due to the deteriorating situation in Sinai, the Fijian government announced that it will withdraw some of its peacekeepers and close remote bases in the area, AP reported. The U.S and Colombia are also considering a withdrawal, the news agency added.