September 11, 2017 - 17:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Islamic State fighters ambushed a police convoy in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Monday, September 11, killing 18 officers and wounding seven others in one of the deadliest attacks this year in the restive region, Al Jazeera reports.
Police and military officials said roadside bombs destroyed and set ablaze four armoured vehicles and a fifth one carrying signal jamming equipment. The gunmen later opened fire with assault weapons and commandeered a police pickup truck.
Among those killed were two police lieutenants. The wounded included a police brigadier general. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief media.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the attack in a brief statement carried by its Aamaq website.
The attack took place about 30km west of El-Arish in northern Sinai, the epicentre of a long-running insurgency now led by an IS affiliate.
The Interior Ministry confirmed in a statement the attack on Monday took place and several policemen were killed or wounded. It did not provide any casualty figures.
Monday's attack was the deadliest against security forces since July when IS attacked a remote army outpost in the border town of Rafah, killing 23 soldiers. That was the deadliest attack in two years.
The ambush came a day after authorities said they busted a cell planning attacks in the capital Cairo. Police said they killed 10 insurgents in two simultaneous raids on apartments in a densely populated Cairo neighbourhood. They said the fighters sneaked into the capital from northern Sinai, but did not say whether they were members of IS.