Update as of 5:00 a.m. EDT: At least 15 Egyptian troops and two civilians were killed in the attacks in the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported, citing police officials.
Two militant ambushes claimed the lives of 10 Egyptian troops in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, the Associated Press reported, citing security officials. At least 11 soldiers and several civilians were also injured in the attacks, authorities reportedly said.
The Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and Gaza and connects Africa with the Middle East region, has seen a growing insurgency since the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Militant attacks in the region have increased in frequency since the democratically elected Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, was deposed and former general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president in July 2013.
Most of the attacks in the region have been claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based outfit that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group last year. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks.
In late January, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for simultaneous attacks on 12 military and police targets in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 26 people. The group also attacked military checkpoints in Oct. 2014, killing 30 soldiers.