Deadly attacks in Egypt’s Sinai target soldiers, military says

Attackers in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula launched strikes Friday at several military checkpoints, leaving soldiers dead and injured, the military said in a statement.

At least 26 people were killed or injured; authorities couldn't immediately provide a breakdown of casualties.

A car bombing at a checkpoint killed or injured "members of the heroic armed forces," the military said. The bombing was part of a larger "attack by terrorist elements" in southern Rafah, the military said.

"Currently there is an ongoing clearing and chasing of members of the terrorist group," according to the military, which claims to have killed 40 of the assailants.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the latest in a string of assaults in the Sinai, a longtime tourist destination where Egyptian forces have been cracking down on Islamist militants.

Plague of violence

Militancy in the Sinai, in northeastern Egypt, increased dramatically after the army in 2013 toppled President Mohammed Morsy, and ISIS' Sinai affiliate has inflicted hundreds of casualties on Egyptian security forces since affiliating itself with ISIS in 2014.

ISIS has targeted Egypt's Christian minority in the region, part of a spike in persecution of and discrimination against Egypt's Coptic Christians since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in 2011.

In 2015, a Russian plane was brought down over the Sinai, killing all 224 aboard. The plane departed the Sinai resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh and was headed to St. Petersburg, Russia. Authorities said they believed a terror bombing was the cause. ISIS' Sinai affiliate claimed responsibility.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.