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Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai checkpoint car bomb

AFP / Archives

An Egyptian security official says the death toll from the previous night's militant attack in Sinai, which included a suicide car bombing, has reached 11.

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No one has claimed responsibility for the assault, in which eight troops were initially reported killed.

The official says three more slain soldiers were found on Friday morning outside the restive city of el-Arish. In Thursday night's attack, a suicide car bomber and dozens of heavily armed militants stormed a checkpoint manned by some 30 troops. At least 12 troops were reported wounded.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to speak to the media.

Egypt's Islamic State (IS) group affiliate is active in Sinai, where the Egyptian army is fighting to curb a militant insurgency and consolidate its grip on the area.

Plane attack

Thursday's attack was the deadliest since an assault on a checkpoint killed 12 soldiers and wounded six others in the Sinai peninsula.

The IS group claimed responsibility for that attack.

The group also said it was responsible for the downing of a Russian plane over Sinai in October 2015 which killed all 224 people on board, most of them Russian holidaymakers.

In February, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi acknowledged for the first time that "terrorism" was behind the crash, although the government has not yet issued an official report on its cause.

Sisi had previously dismissed as "propaganda" the IS group claim that it downed the airliner.

The prosecution said last week that Egypt would try 292 jihadist suspects over plots to assassinate Sisi and the Saudi crown prince and for carrying out attacks in the Sinai Peninsula.

The suspects, including 151 currently in custody, were referred to a military court for alleged membership of the "Sinai State", the IS group's local affiliate.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

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