Death toll of terror attack in Egypt's Sinai rises to 18

Death toll of terror attack in Egypt's Sinai rises to 18

The jihadists have also killed dozens of people in attacks targeting Egypt's Coptic Christian minority elsewhere in the country, and claimed it planted the bomb that brought down a plane carrying tourists in Sinai in 2015, killing 224 people on board.

At least 18 policemen have been killed in an attack on a convoy in Egypt's Sinai peninsula claimed by so-called Islamic State, security sources say. The gunmen later opened fire with machine guns and commandeered a police pickup truck.

Five police officers were injured in the shootout that took place in the neighbourhood of Agouza, Giza governorate, during a raid on two suspected terrorist hideouts, Sputnik reported.

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At least 26 Egyptian soldiers were killed or wounded on July 7, 2017, in attacks on checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula.

Nine policemen, including four officers, were injured during the two raids, it said in a statement. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

A statement by the Interior Ministry, which oversees security forces, said the militants were hiding in two apartments in the densely populated Ard el-Liwa neighborhood, where they held organizational meetings and planned a "series of terror attacks" in central provinces, a reference to Cairo and its twin city of Giza.

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North Sinai has been caught in a crossfire between Egypt's security forces and militants since the ouster of the former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. They said the fighters had sneaked into the capital from northern Sinai but did not say whether they were members of ISIL.

They said initial enquiries indicate the militants were planning to attack state institutions, the police, the military and the judiciary, and to blow up key installations.

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