18 dead after police convoy attacked in Egypt's Sinai

People shop at the Mall of Egypt in 6th of October City on the outskirts of Cairo. — Reuters

People shop at the Mall of Egypt in 6th of October City on the outskirts of Cairo. — Reuters

Reportedly five police officers were killed and six injured in a ferocious terrorist attack on a police convoy in the north of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, local media reported Monday; other sources put the death toll as high as 18.

One source said authorities received a tip off about the hideouts of the individuals, who they suspect of being members of Hasm, a group which has claimed several attacks around the Egyptian capital targeting judges and policemen since previous year.

The assailants, whose identities were not yet known, later opened fire at survivors and commandeered a police pickup truck.

It was the deadliest attack in the northern Sinai in months.

Four armoured vehicles were destroyed due to roadside bombs and a fifth one carrying signal jamming equipment. A brigadier general lost a leg in the blast.

The militant group staging the insurgency pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Security forces were exchanging fire with militants near the explosion site and managed to kill several of them, MENA said.

The attack took place about 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of el-Arish in northern Sinai, the epicenter of a long-running insurgency by militants now led by the extremist Islamic State group.

Terror attacks in Egypt used to focus on police and military men in North Sinai before spreading nationwide and targeting the Coptic minority as well, with majority claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the regional Islamic State (IS) militant group.

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