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Gunmen kill 3 Egyptian police officers, injure 2 others in separate attacks

July 16, 2016 8:07 P.M. (Updated: July 18, 2016 7:47 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma’an) -- An Egyptian police officer was shot dead and two others were injured on Saturday morning after gunmen attacked a police vehicle in the town of Tamya in Egypt's Fayoum governorate south of Cairo, while two policemen were shot dead in separate incidents in the Sinai Peninsula.

Egyptian security sources told Ma’an in Cairo that gunmen opened fire at three policemen as they entered a police vehicle. Mahmoud Abd al-Hamid, 35, was killed in the attack, while two others were evacuated to the police hospital in Cairo’s Agouza neighborhood for treatment.

The attackers fled the scene. The source said the unidentified gunmen were “believed to be affiliated to hardliner groups,” while Egyptian state media site Ahram Online reported it was not immediately clear if the attack had criminal or political motivations.

Al-Hamid was head of the investigations unit in Tamya, according to Ahram Online.

The security sources also told Ma’an that gunmen belonging to the Islamic State-affiliated Sinai Province group shot dead a police officer Saturday morning in the al-Abour neighborhood in al-Arish in the northern Sinai Peninsula. 

Daily News Egypt identified the police officer as Ashraf Motawea based on anonymous local sources, adding that he had been shot dead while walking.

Sinai Province later reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released Saturday.

Furthermore, unidentified gunmen reportedly shot dead a civil servant in al-Safa neighborhood of al-Arish city in a separate incident Saturday, the Egyptian security sources said.

Egyptian military and police forces have been the target of ongoing attacks, which have increased since Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

Sisi has come under attack following his violent suppression of Muslim Brotherhood members following his rise to power, which he has argued is necessary to deter future attacks in the Sinai and across Egypt.

According to Egyptian media, al-Sisi last week extended the state of emergency in northern Sinai for an additional three months, effective July 29. A curfew has been imposed on the region and renewed every three months since 2014.
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