Dozens die in Sinai army checkpoint attack

Egyptian president announces three days of national mourning after 27 soldiers are killed in gun and bomb attack.

    Friday's attack was one of the deadliest on security forces since former president Morsi was overthrown [EPA]
    Friday's attack was one of the deadliest on security forces since former president Morsi was overthrown [EPA]

    At least 27 soldiers have been killed in an attack on an army checkpoint in Egypt's North Sinai, state media has reported.

    The attack on Friday afternoon hit an army checkpoint at Karm al-Qawadeis, southwest of Sheikh Zuweid.

    Egyptian sources told Al Jazeera that a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near the checkpoint's magazine, causing it and an army vehicle to explode. Fighters then attacked the site with guns and a rocket-propelled grenade.

    The source said the group attacked as soldiers were on break inside their tents. State media reported that 28 people were wounded, several of whom were in critical condition. 

    "Most have been seriously injured and not all of them have been taken to hospital yet," health ministry official Tareq Khater told the AFP news agency.

    Three more members of Egypt's security forces were killed in a separate attack at a checkpoint outside nearby al-Arish. It was not immediately clear whether the dead were soldiers or police.

    The Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, announced three days of national mourning after the attack, and promised to eradicate those responsible.

    Local media said the president also ordered a meeting of the government's national defence council following the blast.

    The council is made up of the prime minister, the head of the parliament, the minister of defence and the commanders of the Egyptian armed forces, and is chaired by the president.

    The attack was one of the deadliest on security forces since Sisi in July last year overthrew Mohamed Morsi from the presidency, launched a bloody crackdown on his supporters and declared his Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organisation.

    Hundreds of soldiers and police officers have been killed in attacks.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    A journey through Romania in the time of coronavirus

    A journey through Romania in the time of coronavirus

    A photojournalist travels across the country in a motorhome to document how curfews and quarantines have changed it.

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.