x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Gunmen kill 3 policemen in Sinai city

Disorder has spread in Sinai since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year, with Islamist militants stepping up their attacks on security forces and the Israeli border.

ISMAILIA, Egypt // Three Egyptian policemen died yesterday when gunmen fired on their car in the northern Sinai Peninsula city of Al Arish before escaping, security sources said.

Disorder has spread in Sinai since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year, with Islamist militants stepping up their attacks on security forces and the Israeli border.

Egypt's Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, has pledged to restore security in the region.

A police source said that yesterday's attackers were probably militants who Egyptian forces have been hunting since the ambush killing of 16 border guards on August 5.

Two policemen died at the scene of the attack in Al Arish, the administrative centre of North Sinai.

One of the other two injured died at the hospital later, medical and security sources said.

The August 5 attack prompted the government to send in hundreds of troops backed by tanks, armoured vehicles and helicopters in a joint operation with police to raid militant hideouts, arrest suspects and confiscate weapons.

But efforts to impose central authority in the lawless desert region are complicated by the indigenous Bedouin population's ingrained hostility to the government in Cairo.