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Egypt

Gunmen kill 5 Egyptian police officers in Sinai

Five policemen have been shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Egypt's volatile Sinai Peninsula. The attack has come just days after another police killing claimed by the Egypt affiliate of the "Islamic State."

Egyptian police conscripts were ambushed and shot dead on Saturday in northern Sinai, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a Facebook post.

The five conscripts were reportedly returning from a holiday when unidentified gunmen fired at the car in a drive-by shooting in the north Sinai capital, el-Arish, said the ministry in a statement.

In another incident on Saturday, nine police officers traveling in an armored car were wounded when an explosive device planted in the road was remotely detonated. One police conscript later died of his wounds, said security sources.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the killings.

The attacks come just days after another group of assailants killed three policemen, as well as their driver. That attack was claimed by the Egyptian affiliate group of the so-called "Islamic State."

Hard-line jihadists have killed hundreds of police and soldiers in Sinai since the 2011 uprising which toppled Egypt's longtime autocrat, Hosni Mubarak.

Extremist activity against security personnel in the region increased after the army ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

The region's extremists later pledged allegiance to IS and have carried out targeted attacks against foreigners, including the 2015 bombing of a Russian airliner carrying tourists from a Sinai vacation resort. All 224 people on board were killed in the blast.

rs/cmk (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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