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2 Egyptian officers killed, 1 injured in explosion in Sinai

Dec. 31, 2016 5:58 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2016 5:58 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Two Egyptian officers were killed and a third was injured on Saturday morning when a roadside bomb hit a vehicle on the main highway between al-Arish and al-Qantara in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

The attack targeted an armored Egyptian security vehicle, which is used to intercept signals of explosive devices, while it was making its routine rounds on the main road near the village of al-Talool.

Egyptian security sources told Ma'an in Cairo that unidentified assailants were able to remotely detonate the bomb before it was detected by the vehicle's explosive scanner.

As a result of the attack, Issam Fishawi, 30, and another police officer who remained unidentified were killed, while 21-year-old Muhammad Mukhtar Hasan sustained multiple shrapnel wounds.

The slain officers and the injured police officer were evacuated to the military hospital in al-Arish.

No group has claimed the attack, but the local affiliate of the Islamic State group, known as the Sinai Province, has claimed most of the major attacks in Sinai in the last four years.

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.

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

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the militant group responsible for a majority of attacks on military personnel, aligned with the Islamic State group in November 2014, changing its name to Sinai Province.
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