Approximately 64 Egyptian soldiers and police officers have been killed in a multi-prong attack at five checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula, according to international media sources.
Clashes first erupted Wednesday between Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists and security personnel in the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, according to Daily News Egypt.
According to the Egyptian Army spokesperson, the numbers are quite different, with approximately 70 terrorists were involved in five ambushes in northern Sinai.
“Our forces returned fire, killing 22 terrorists and destroying three land cruiser vehicles loaded with 14.5mm anti-aircraft weapons. Ten of our valiant armed forces were martyred thus far. Our forces continue to comb the areas around the site of the attacks in order to eliminate what’s left of the terrorists. Clashes are continuing,” he said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.
The attack came as a follow-up to Monday’s assassination in Cairo of Egyptian chief prosecutor and Attorney General Hisham Barakat. Nine other people died in the car bombing which wounded dozens of others.
A separate car bombing and mortar attack in the city of El Arish has left at least 32 people dead as well, according to The Guardian newspaper, which reported that ISIS terror group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis — now known as “Province of Sinai” — has taken responsibility for the attack on an army barracks, an army-owned hotel and a polcie headquarters.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has cut short his visit to Ethiopia for an African Union Summit in order to deal with the crisis at home, according to the British newspaper.