At least 30 people were killed in a series of attacks on military checkpoints in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday. At least 11 Egyptian soldiers are among those killed in the attack in the restive region, according to local media reports.
The attacks took place just south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, located in Northern Sinai. About 70 fighters simultaneously targeted five checkpoints in the area using car bombs, according to media reports. At least 22 militants were also killed in the ensuing gun battle and three of their vehicles were destroyed, Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper reported. The Islamic State group has taken responsibility for the attack, according to Agence France-Presse.
The attackers were also armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles, according to media reports. Two of the checkpoints targeted are believed to have been completely destroyed. The Associated Press reported, citing unnamed military officials, that 30 soldiers were killed and several others were taken captive.
In recent months, Northern Sinai has witnessed a series of violent attacks, most of them claimed by the ISIS-affiliated Sunni extremist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. In April, 15 soldiers and three civilians were killed in an attack on a military checkpoint near Sheikh Zuweid.
The latest attack comes just days after the assassination of Egypt’s state prosecutor Hisham Barakat in Cairo and just one day after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to speed up the trials and sentences of those involved in terrorism.
“We will not wait five or 10 years, trying the people that are killing us,” Sisi reportedly said, on Tuesday. “We will make the law, a law to confront this.”