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Wednesday 11th
posted by Morning Star in World

EGYPT’S Isis affiliate claimed responsibility yesterday for an attack on a police checkpoint in the Sinai peninsula that killed eight on Monday.

The group has carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting Egyptian security forces, since the 2013 military coup against Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.

The Interior Ministry said the militants targeted the checkpoint in the city of elArish with a stolen bin lorry packed with explosives while gunmen opened fire.

Security forces killed the driver and safely detonated the lorry bomb after fighting off the militants. The ministry said seven police officers and one civilian were killed, while security forces killed five of the attackers. Six officers, six civilians and three attackers were wounded in the gun battle.

Earlier yesterday President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said in a TV interview that Egypt faced a tough battle as it struggled “alone” against insurgents and terrorists. He warned that the “price will be very heavy” in the fight to combat terrorism.

Mr Sissi said the army had deployed 25,000 troops in Sinai, where fighting has raged for years against militants.

The region borders Israel and the besieged Gaza Strip, while Saudi Arabia — a key supporter of Wahhabi extremists in Syria and Iraq — and Jordan lie across the narrow Gulf of Aqaba.

The Muslim Brotherhood is among the plethora of sectarian militants fighting the Syrian government in alliance with the al-Qaida affiliated Levant Conquest Front (LCF).

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