Egyptian soldiers keep guard in Sinai 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
CAIRO - Gunmen killed three policemen in Egypt's volatile Sinai Peninsula on Monday, security sources said, and an Islamist militant group released a video of a deadly drive-by shooting of a man they identified as an army colonel.
The Sinai has become a major security headache for the Egyptian authorities since the army overthrew elected President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July.
Almost daily attacks by al-Qaida-inspired militants have killed more than 100 members of the security forces since Morsi's ouster, said the army spokesman on September 15.
Instability in the Sinai worries Western governments because the region borders Israel and flanks the strategic Suez Canal, the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe.
The Sinai is also difficult to police because it borders the Gaza Strip, which is run by the Islamist group Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian army says Gaza-based militants take part in attacks over the border and accuses Hamas of doing too little to secure the area, allegations it denies.
In the latest attacks, gunmen opened fire on a police station in the city of El-Arish in North Sinai, killing two policemen as they were eating breakfast outside the building. In a separate incident, a police officer walking in the city was shot in the head and chest and killed.
Gunmen also shot and killed a civilian in another attack in the nearby town of Sheikh Zuwaid.