At least three people have lost their lives and four others been injured in a drive-by shooting in Egypt’s Sharqia Province.
Police said unknown gunmen on a motorcycle opened fired on a checkpoint in the town of Faqous in Sharqia on Sunday. Two policemen and a bystander were killed in the attack.
The identities of the assailants, who fled the scene, were not immediately known, but security forces arrested three suspects in the area.
Although no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the raid, security officials have blamed the Egyptian affiliate of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group – known as Velayat Sinai – for similar incidents in the past.
Over the past few years, the militants have used the Sinai Peninsula as a safe haven to carry out deadly attacks mainly targeting Egyptian soldiers and police forces.
Velayat Sinai, previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, pledged allegiance to Daesh in November 2014. The Egyptian army has long been engaged in military operations against the militants in the volatile Sinai region, which has been under a state of emergency since October 2014.
The latest terror attack came on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the January 25, 2011 uprising that toppled Egypt’s longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.
While militants are not believed to be tied to former President Mohamed Morsi, his ouster in a military coup in July 2013 led to an increase in militant attacks across Sinai. Since then, hundreds of people have been killed and thousands imprisoned in a brutal crackdown targeting Morsi’s supporters.