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Egypt military targeted in deadly Sinai attacks

Egypt military targeted in deadly Sinai attacks

At least 26 people, mostly soldiers, have been killed in a series of attacks by Islamist militants in the north of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Most of the casualties were in the provincial capital, El-Arish.

Militant group Sinai Province, which changed its named from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis when it pledged allegiance to Islamic State, said it carried out the “extensive, simultaneous” attacks.

Egypt’s president cut short a visit to Ethiopia because of the attacks.

They represent some of the worst anti-government violence in Egypt for months, and indicate a previously unseen level of co-ordination, correspondents and analysts say.

The US condemned the attacks, saying it remained “steadfast in its support of the Egyptian government’s efforts to combat the threat of terrorism”.

Insurgents have intensified attacks since Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013.

Tensions have also been raised across Egypt this week amid protests marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ousted then-leader Hosni Mubarak.

Security officials said rockets were first fired at police offices, a military base and a military hotel in El-Arish, before a car bomb exploded at the rear gate of the military base. Several army checkpoints in the city were also targeted.

Newspaper al-Ahram said its El-Arish office – which is opposite the hotel and base – had been completely destroyed.

Read More:BBC News – Egypt military targeted in deadly Sinai attacks.

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