Death toll in Egypt’s Sinai attack rises to 15 policemen

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Cairo, March 21 (IANS) The death toll of Saturday’s mortar attack on a police checkpoint in Egypt’s restive North Sinai province rose to 15 policemen, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

The attack took place on late Saturday at Al-Safa checkpoint in Arish city of North Sinai, leaving three police officers and 12 conscripts dead, Xinhua quoted ministry’s statement as saying.

Calling itself “Sinai State,” a Sinai-based group loyal to the regional Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the attack.

Terror attacks in Egypt, particularly in North Sinai, killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since 2013.

The IS branch in Sinai claimed responsibility for most of the anti-government attacks nationwide.

Over the past three years, the security forces have been launching massive anti-terror operations in the peninsula that killed about 1,000 militants so far and arrested a similar number of suspects.

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The security raids in Sinai are part of the country’s “war against terrorism” declared by then-military chief and now President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi following Morsi’s removal.

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