Egypt police kill 14 gunmen linked to recent Northern Sinai attacks

Egypt police kill 14 gunmen linked to recent Northern Sinai attacks
Egypt's interior ministry said police killed 14 gunmen on Saturday, adding that they were linked to recent attacks against the security forces in Northern Sinai.
2 min read
09 July, 2017
Funerals were held for at least 21 soldiers killed in Friday's attack [AFP]

Egyptian police said they killed 14 alleged members of the Islamic State group on Saturday in a raid on a training camp, a day after militants conducted a deadly attack on soldiers.

Funerals were held across the country for at least 21 soldiers killed in Friday's attack in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, one of deadliest against the military in years.

The interior ministry said police officers raided a desert training camp in the eastern province of Ismailiya, killing the 14 alleged militants.

At least five of them had been wanted on charges of joining IS, it said in a statement.

Jihadi militants attacked several Sinai checkpoints with car bombs and heavy gunfire in a coordinated assault on Friday, which IS later claimed responsibility for in a statement.

The military said they managed to kill 40 of the assailants and that the attack killed or wounded 26 soldiers, without providing a death toll.

Provincial and security officials said funerals were held for at least 21 soldiers.

IS has been leading a deadly insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the army overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and crackdown on his supporters.

IS has also attacked tourists, killing all 224 on board a Russian plane carrying holidaymakers in 2015, as well as Christian churches elsewhere in Egypt.

Groups other than IS have also carried out attacks in Egypt targeting policemen and judges.

Gunmen on Friday shot dead a National Security Service officer as he was leaving his home north of Cairo.

The militant group Hasm claimed responsibility.

On Saturday, the interior ministry said police killed two senior Hasm members in a shootout near Cairo.

The jihadis are increasingly encircled in the peninsula, with the military razing sections of Rafah to create a buffer zone with the Gaza Strip and destroying tunnels connecting with the Palestinian territory.

But that has not prevented them from establishing cells elsewhere in Egypt that launched a series of attacks on Christians that have killed dozens since December, when a suicide bomber targeted a Cairo church.

That attack was followed by two church bombings in April that killed at least 45 people and a massacre of Christians heading on a bus to a monastery in May.

The April attacks prompted President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare a nationwide state of emergency like that already in force in North Sinai.

Agencies contributed to this report.