Security officials said Sunday that suspected militants had attacked a police vehicle on the outskirts of el-Arish, Sinai’s largest city, earlier in the day.
Hospital officials confirmed that the two officers had been killed. They said 10 other conscripts were also wounded in the attack.
The attack is the latest to target security forces in Sinai, a turbulent region on the Mediterranean which has been gripped by militancy since the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi in 2013. A branch of Daesh, a Takfiri group mainly based in Iraq and Syria, has claimed many attacks in Sinai over the past years while it has also expanded its assaults to mainland Egypt.
Under the leadership of former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the coup that ousted Morsi four years ago, Egypt has been battling other militant groups, including those that have emerged out of a chaos in neighboring Libya. A high-profile attack on October 20 in the Western Desert raised fears about a fresh bout of violence in the area. Police said 16 officers were killed in the ambush attack that took place some 130 kilometers outside of Cairo. Security sources put the fatality above 50 policemen.
Egypt’s Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi vowed Tuesday that the North African country would be soon cleansed of militancy.
“The men of the armed forces will with decisiveness and deterrence counter any attempt to create chaos on Egypt’s borders … we will be ready for them until Egypt is cleansed of this scourge,” Sobhi said in an impassioned live broadcast.