Militants kill Egyptian policeman in Sinai attack

Hardline Islamist groups intensify attacks in lawless Sinai as third police this week dies from such strikes.

July 12, 2013 05:34
1 minute read.
Egyptian soldiers stand guard in Sinai, July 5, 2013

Egyptian soldiers stand guard in Sinai 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

CAIRO - One Egyptian policeman was killed and another was badly wounded on Friday by militants who fired rocket-propelled grenades at security checkpoints in the lawless Sinai peninsula, near the border with Israel, security sources said.

Hardline Islamist groups based in North Sinai have intensified their attacks on police checkpoints over the past two years, exploiting the security and political vacuum following the 2011 uprising that ousted autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.

The violence has spiked since last week's overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi by the army and the militants have attacked security checkpoints almost every day.

Friday's deadly attack took place in the peninsula's northern city of Al-Arish, the sources said.

Earlier on Friday, a police station and two army checkpoints in the city also came under attack by militants firing rocket-propelled grenades, according to the security sources. No one was wounded in those attacks.

On July 10, two Egyptians were killed and six were wounded in a militant attack on security checkpoints in the remote village of Sadr El-Heytan, in the center of Sinai.

On Thursday, The Times of London reported that the Egyptian army was seeking to suspend the Camp David peace accord with Israel, which restricts Cairo's military presence in northern Sinai.

According to the report, due to the rising attacks by Islamic extremists in the lawless peninsula, some voices in Cairo are calling for a review of the military annex of the peace treaty which puts some limitations on the Egyptian army in Sinai. Staff contributed to this report.

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