Deadly bomb attacks hit Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula
CAIRO - Bomb attacks killed four Egyptian soldiers and three civilians on Wednesday in the Sinai Peninsula, where security forces are fighting an Islamist insurgency, police and medics said.
Jihadists regularly target security forces in the region in retaliation for a bloody crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Wednesday's bombings occurred in and around the town of Rafah in North Sinai, where the military has built a buffer zone to prevent militants from crossing into Egypt from the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
Two officers and two soldiers were killed in a bomb blast during a search operation in Rafah, security officials said.
In a separate attack, three passers-by were killed when a roadside bomb went off south of Rafah, police and medics said.
The area is a bastion of the jihadist group Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.
The organisation has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.
Officials say hundreds of Egyptian policemen and soldiers have been killed in jihadist attacks, including in Cairo, since the army overthrew Morsi in 2013.
A police crackdown targeting Morsi supporters, meanwhile, has left more than 1,400 people dead and thousands imprisoned.
Hundreds have also been sentenced to death after speedy mass trials, which the United Nations says is "unprecedented in recent history".