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Explosion kills 11 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai

September 2, 2014 19:18

Security source says initial investigation reveals the involvement of the al-Qaida affiliated Sinai-based terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis logo. (photo credit:screenshot)

Amidst ongoing Egyptian military operations against terrorists in Sinai, an attack on a convoy killed 11 members of the country’s security forces in the Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, security and medical sources said.

Two were killed by a roadside bomb and the others were shot as they tried to flee, the security sources said. Security sources said earlier that the attack killed 10 soldiers.

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The attack also injured two soldiers according to a report by the Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm al-Sabaa, which also quoted a security source in Sinai as saying the initial investigation reveals the involvement of the al-Qaida affiliated Sinai-based terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Militants in Sinai have stepped up attacks on policemen and soldiers since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has reported links with the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for attacks.

The group said on Thursday it had beheaded four Egyptians, accusing them of providing Israel with intelligence for an airstrike that killed three of its fighters.

Four headless corpses were found in the Sinai Peninsula earlier this month, security sources said -- the first time that any decapitations had been made public in Egypt.

It is unclear if Bayt al-Maqdis is officially linked to the Islamic State, however, Egyptian intelligence officials say the group has influenced Egyptian militants who are based just over the border with Libya.

The officials say the Libya-based fighters have also established contacts with Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Separately, the border guards said that it had destroyed 8 new tunnels in Sinai, making that a total of 1718 destroyed until now, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Ongoing operations in Sinai resulted in the death of two suspected jihadists on Monday night during clashes with security forces, a security sources told Aswat Masriya website.

The source said that clashes broke out when security forces raided a farm whose owner is suspected of shooting down a military aircraft.

Meanwhile, a stampede outside of a military institute in Sharqiya on Tuesday resulted in the death of nine and the injury of five others.
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