While Islamic State-affiliated terrorists have operated in the Sinai region for years, no terror group immediately took responsibility for a recent attack there.
A car bomb followed by fierce gunfire was unleashed on a military checkpoint in the northeastern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, leaving 10 Egyptian security troops dead, including a special forces colonel, in addition to wounding at least 20 others, authorities said.
The officials said the blitz started when a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into a checkpoint at a military compound in the southern Rafah village of el-Barth, followed by heavy gunfire from dozens of masked militants on foot.
The dead included a high ranking special forces officer, Col. Ahmed el-Mansi, with at least 20 others wounded in the attack. Ambulance sirens could be heard from a distance as they rushed to the attack site.
Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the media.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Egypt in recent years has been battling a stepped-up insurgency in northern Sinai, mainly by militants from Islamic State-affiliated groups.