Cairo, Jan 30: At least 26 people have been killed, mostly soldiers and 60 others injured in Egypt's restive Sinai when a series of militant attacks, involving car bombs and mortar rounds struck several army and police positions.
The attacks which happened on Friday is the deadliest assault on security forces in recent weeks. It targeted the police headquarters of El-Arish, a military unit and a residential area housing army and police officers.
"Militants fired mortar rounds and used car bombs in the attacks , Egyptian TV reported. 25 military personnel were killed while 60 were injured. Out of the 26 killed, one was a policeman.
"At least three missile shells and a car bomb were used in separate attacks," a source said. Meanwhile, a police officer was killed in a bomb explosion targeting a police building in the Canal city of Suez. The officer was on duty when the explosion occurred.
The attack took place shortly after the serial attacks in North Sinai. Last week, the curfew in parts of North Sinai was extended for another three months. The curfew was initially imposed on October 25, following the death of 31 army personnel who were killed in a car bomb attack.
Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip. Egypt's Sinai has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak.
The attacks targeting police and military increased after the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Over 500 security personnel have been reported killed since then.
The military has launched security campaigns in the area, arrested suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.