A roadside bomb killed an Egyptian police captain and a conscript Sunday in North Sinai, where security forces are fighting a terrorist insurgency, the interior ministry said.

North Sinai is a bastion of the Egyptian affiliate of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group which is spearheading an insurgency that has swelled since the army’s ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammad Mursi in July 2013.

Sunday’s attack occurred in North Sinai’s provincial capital El-Arish, the ministry said in a statement.

The two policemen were killed when the blast struck their passing armored vehicle. Three others were wounded in the explosion, which was activated by remote control, police said.

In the previous 24 hours the army had detonated nine explosives found on a road frequently used by troops in North Sinai, police said.

Formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the key terrorist group in the region changed its name to “Sinai Province” when it pledged allegiance to ISIL in November.

On July 1, the group staged a series of attacks on security forces in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid that the military said killed 21 soldiers.

The group say its attacks are in response to a crackdown by the authorities after Mursi’s ouster which has seen at least 1,400 people killed and thousands jailed.

 

AFP

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