10:28 GMT04 March 2021
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    The Islamic State's affiliate in Egypt has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted security forces stationed at checkpoints in North Sinai.

    Policemen and army forces are seen at the site of a car bomb attack on the convoy of Egyptian public prosecutor Hisham Barakat near his house at Heliopolis district in Cairo, Egypt
    © REUTERS / Mohamed Abd El Ghany
    A series of bomb attacks carried out by militants affiliated with the Islamic State have killed 64 members of the Egyptian security forces serving at checkpoints in the North Sinai Governorate, according to reports from the Egyptian press.

    Sources in the Egyptian army have informed the press that at least 70 soldiers and civilians had been killed and scores injured in the attacks, which targeted at least six checkpoints around the town of Sheikh Zuweid. 

    According to reports, the militants carried out a wave of simultaneous attacks in which they detonated a vehicle rigged with explosives, and fired mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades at Egyptian security forces.

    Video shows jihadi fighters' deadly attack on checkpoint in Sinai, Egypt
    Video shows jihadi fighters' deadly attack on checkpoint in Sinai, Egypt
    Egypt's Islamic State affiliate, called 'Sinai Province,' took responsibility for the attack on Twitter, and claimed that 15 positions held by the Egyptian army and security forces were attacked, and another three "suicide operations" were carried out, targeting two checkpoints and an officers' club in al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai.

    The Egyptian military was reported to have retaliated with ground and air attacks on militant Islamic positions in the Northern Sinai Peninsula.

    In the aftermath of Wednesday's attacks, Israel announced the closure of its Nizzana and Kerem Shalom border crossings with Egypt on Wednesday. 

    Jihadist activity in the turbulent North Sinai region has escalated since Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Mursi was ousted from power in 2013.

    The attack came as President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi vowed on Wednesday to step up the crackdown on Islamic militants after Egypt's prosecutor-general, Hisham Barakat, was killed in a car bomb attack in Cairo on Monday, which also killed five guards, two drivers and one civilian. 


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