CAIRO: The death toll from an attack on a police checkpoint claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has risen to 15, the interior ministry said Sunday.
The ministry said a checkpoint near North Sinai’s provincial capital of El-Arish was struck by mortar fire late on Saturday, but IS said a suicide bomber blew up a car at the police post, which jihadists then raided.
Three officers and 12 policemen were killed in the attack, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday, updating an earlier death toll of 13.
The attack was the deadliest in months in Sinai, where IS’s Egyptian branch is waging an insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.
After Egypt’s military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the jihadists launched an insurgency that has persisted despite a massive army campaign in North Sinai.
The militants have also attacked tourists.
The jihadist group claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian airliner on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people on board, minutes after it took off from a South Sinai beach resort.
The group said it had smuggled explosives packed into a soda can on to the aircraft.
The military says it has killed more than 1,000 militants, occasionally publishing pictures of their bodies.
Security officials said that five attackers were killed in clashes near the checkpoint after it was attacked on Saturday. AFP