Middle East

Deadly truck-bomb attack hits Sinai's El-Arish

No immediate claim of responsibility for incident in El-Arish that has left at least seven security officers dead.

Gunmen tried to storm the El-Arish checkpoint, in Egypt's Sinai, using an explosives-laden truck [EPA]

A truck-bomb attack on a checkpoint in the city of El-Arish in Egypt's northern Sinai has killed at least seven policemen and one civilian, according to security officials and medical sources.

Police officials said a suicide bomber drove the truck packed with explosives into El-Matafe checkpoint and armed men then opened fire on the security post on Monday.

Egypt's interior ministry said in a statement that security forces were able to "fight off" the attack, killing five assailants and wounding three others.

Six policemen and six civilians were also wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the truck bombing, but an armed movement in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai Peninsula has gained pace since the military toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, in mid-2013.

Since then, hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in attacks.  

In November, a car bomb attack on a checkpoint in Sinai killed eight soldiers.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group's Egyptian branch in the Sinai Peninsula has also carried out several such attacks over the past two years.

The Sinai Peninsula borders Israel and Palestine's Gaza Strip.


Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies