Two Egyptian Soldiers, Five Militants Killed in Shootout at Sinai Military Checkpoint

Shootout occurred after militant wearing a belt of explosives attempted to 'storm' checkpoint, says Egyptian military

Soldiers in military vehicles northeast of Cairo, Egypt May 21, 2013.
Soldiers in military vehicles northeast of Cairo, Egypt May 21, 2013. REUTERS

Egypt's military says two conscripts and five militants have been killed in a shootout at a military checkpoint in restive northern Sinai Peninsula.

Military spokesman Col. Tamer el-Rifai says the shootout, which also wounded two militants, took place early Wednesday morning after a militant wearing a belt of explosives attempted to "storm" the checkpoint. He gave no further details.isis

Security officials said the attack took place just outside the border town of Rafah and that the two conscripts died when the suicide bomber blew himself up.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Egypt has for years been battling militants in northern Sinai, who are now led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

At least 18 Egyptian policemen were killed and three injured on Monday in an attack claimed by Islamic State on a security convoy in the Sinai Peninsula, an area battling an insurgency. In July, at least 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when suicide car bombs tore through two military checkpoints in North Sinai, in one of the bloodiest assaults on security forces in years.