Cairo, July 7 (IANS) Egypt’s armed forces killed 40 militants on Friday in retaliatory attack after suicide bombing and shooting on an army checkpoint in North Sinai killed at least ten soldiers, the army said in a statement.
“The armed forces have foiled a terrorist attack launched by Takfir elements on some army security points in south Rafah city, bordering Palestinian Gaza Strip,” Xinhua news agency quoted armed forces spokesperson Tamer el Refai as saying.
“During the security operation, some 40 militants have been killed, and other six vehicles used by the terrorists have been destroyed,” the statement added.
The army statement said the car bombing by militants killed and wounded some 26 soldiers, and added that the forces were tracking the militants in the nearby villages.
Earlier, an official security source said that at least ten Egyptian soldiers were killed and 20 others injured in two car explosions and shooting later at an army checkpoint in North Sinai’s city of Rafah.
“A car broke into an army checkpoint in the village of Al-Bars, south of Rafah,” the source said.
The explosion was followed by heavy gunfire from dozens of masked militants.
Ambulances rushed to the scene, and the security forces were combing the nearby roads in search for perpetrators.
The sources said the militants belong to Sinai-based Sinai State group, which declared loyalty to the Islamic State (IS) outfit in 2014.
However, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.