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Violence kills soldier, 8 militants in Sinai

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An army soldier and eight militants were killed in fresh violence in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, according to a local source and military spokesman.

Gunmen opened fire on a military checkpoint on Monday in the North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuweid, killing a soldier, the source told Anadolu Agency, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Monday's attack came hours after eight militants were killed in clashes with army forces in northern Sinai.

In a statement, military spokesman Tamer al-Refai said army forces on Sunday thwarted an ambush by militants in Rafah city, killing eight militants.

According to the spokesman, 22 suspected militants were also rounded up in security operations in Rafah and Arish cities in northern Sinai.

The Sinai Peninsula has seen an uptick in violence in recent days.

Last week, ten security personnel were killed in northern Sinai, which has remained the epicenter of a deadly militant insurgency since 2013, when Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, was ousted in a military coup.

In the almost four years since the coup, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed across the restive peninsula.

Egyptian security forces, meanwhile, continue to wage a fierce campaign -- involving elements of both the police and army -- against what they describe as Sinai-based "terrorist groups".

Egypt’s army-backed authorities say they are battling the Welayat Sinai ("Province of Sinai") group, which is said to have links with the Daesh terrorist group.

2017.03.27 / 15:12
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