Seven police officers have been killed in a jihadist attack in restive North Sinai, Egypt’s interior ministry said on Wednesday. The attack near the regional capital El-Arish targeted an “assembly centre” for police, according to the ministry. Four assailants died “during clashes” following the attack, one when he detonated an explosives belt, it said.
North Sinai has long been a centre of insurgents and Egyptian authorities last year launched an offensive against the jihadists. Hundreds of militants have been killed along with dozens of soldiers, according to official figures which cannot be verified as Sinai is largely cut off to journalists.
Egypt is currently on high alert as it hosts the Africa Cup of Nations, although none of the games are taking place in Sinai. A month before the tournament kicked off, a tourist bus was hit by a roadside bomb near the famed pyramids of Giza. A similar attack in December killed three Vietnamese holidaymakers and an Egyptian tour guide. The country’s security forces and Christian minority have also been targeted by jihadist attacks.