Egypt military says 26 soldiers killed or wounded in Sinai

At least ten Egyptian soldiers including a colonel were killed in the suicide bomb attack on an army checkpoint in northern Sinai, security sources said.

Egyptian officials say at least 10 security troops have been killed when a vehicle bomb struck a military checkpoint followed by heavy gunfire in northeastern Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas' spokesman Fawzi Barhoum says the group considers the attack in Sinai "a criminal, a terrorist, and a coward attack that doesn't target Egypt only, but the security and stability of the entire Arab nation". "Such attacks make us more resolved to uproot the terrorism".

Security sources described Friday's attack as a coordinated strike, with auto bombs blowing apart checkpoints as gunmen in four-wheel drive vehicles shot down soldiers running for cover.

The assault started when a suicide auto bomber rammed his vehicle into a checkpoint at a military compound in the village of el-Barth, southwest of the border town of Rafah, followed by heavy gunfire from dozens of masked militants on foot, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Ambulances rushed into the scene, and the security forces were combing the nearby roads in search of perpetrators.

The Sinai militants pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014 and adopted the name Sinai Province.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Sinai, which is a stronghold of Daesh-affiliated militants.

The military has launched security campaigns in the North Sinai area, killing several militants.

Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a deadly militant insurgency since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely-elected president, was ousted in a bloody military coup.

The attacks were mainly centered in Sinai Peninsula, but some extended to the capital and Delta cities.

"These inhumane attacks, whether in Egypt or in England, only strengthen our determination to defeat the terrorist killers", Casson said, adding that the United Kingdom would continue standing with Egypt in its war against terrorism.

  • Joe Gonzales