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More security checkpoints targeted in Sinai

Gunmen have opened fire on three Egyptian security checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula, injuring three. The latest attack came just hours after the funeral of 16 soldiers who killed in a similar assault on Sunday.

Egypt's MENA state news agency reported that the armed men opened fire on checkpoints in al-Arish city in the Sinai Peninsula, along the Egypt-Israel border on Wednesday.

In a report, also carried on Egyptian state television, MENA said that exchanges of gunfire with police continued late into the night. Witnesses and security sources said three people were injured in the exchange.

Wednesday's attacks came amid a heightened military presence in the area in the wake of a similar incident on Sunday. Gunmen killed 16 solders when they opened fire on a checkpoint in Sinai. Both Israeli and Egyptian authorities have indicated that Islamist militants were responsible. It was the deadliest assault along the tense border in decades.

A high-profile funeral service was held for the border guards in Egypt's capital, Cairo, on Tuesday. It was led by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's defense minister and head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. President Mohammad Morsi, who it was reported would attend, was notable in his absence.

The funeral was attended by thousands and aired live on state television.

"Every Egyptian feels this attack was directed against them. They all want vengeance, and there must be blood for blood," a presenter said during the broadcast.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for either attack

Lawlessness in the rugged desert region has spread since former president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising 18 months ago.

ccp/slk (Reuters, dpa)