Nine Dead in Car Bomb and Shooting Assault on Sinai Checkpoint

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in el-Arish, which also wounded 10 people.

Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai as seen from the border of southern Gaza Strip with Egypt July 1, 2015.
Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai as seen from the border of southern Gaza Strip with Egypt July 1, 2015. Credit: Reuters

A suicide bomber driving a garbage truck packed with explosives rammed his vehicle into an Egyptian security checkpoint outside a police building in northern Sinai on Monday, killing at least nine people and wounding 10, officials said.

According to security and medical officials, the attack in the city of el-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula was followed by smaller explosions as militants wearing black masks fired rocket-propelled grenades at the troops around the checkpoint.

Three floors of the police building were blown out, the officials said, adding that so far nine bodies have been retrieved from the rubble but that they feared the death toll could rise further.

Ten wounded were taken to hospital.

At the checkpoint, two officers survived unharmed, the officials said. There were unconfirmed reports that a number of security personnel were seized and abducted by the gunmen.

The garbage truck had been stolen days earlier from the municipality of el-Arish, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore all the hallmarks of Egypt's Islamic State affiliate.

The militant group has carried out scores of attacks against security forces in the volatile northern Sinai and elsewhere in the country. The Egyptian army has struggled over the past few years to contain the insurgency.

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