Six policemen were killed and another two were wounded on Tuesday morning when a roadside bomb targeting their vehicle was detonated near the town of Rafah, in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior, as reported by Reuters, five police conscripts and one officer were killed when an explosive device planted along the Arish-Rafah highway was detonated.
The statement added that these police forces were targeted in their armored personnel carrier. Apart from the six fatalities, another two policemen were reportedly injured in the attack.
The ministry’s statement added that security cordon was imposed at the site of the bombing, and that security forces are combing the area in order to identify and apprehend the assailants responsible for this deadly attack.
The BBC reported that the armed Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdes had claimed responsibility for the attack, although this was neither confirmed nor refuted by the ministry.
A number of armed jihadi and takfiri groups are said to be based in North Sinai, and have waged a low intensity Islamist insurgency against police and the Armed Forces for several years.
However, these groups’ attacks have increased and have occasionally spilled-over into mainland Egypt – especially since the Armed Forces led the ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi last year, along with the subsequent crackdowns on members of his Muslim Brotherhood, and other opposition Islamists.