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10 Egyptian Soldiers Killed in Sinai Attack

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Egypt in turmoilTen Egyptian soldiers were killed on Wednesday after a booby-trapped car exploded next to their bus in the northern Sinai Peninsula, according to a military spokesman.

At least 35 people were wounded in the bombing, near the town of Sheikh Zuwayed, the military said.

The bombing was the latest in a campaign of almost daily attacks by insurgents against soldiers and police officers that began in July, when the military ousted Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi. Many of the attacks have occurred in the marginalized and relatively lawless Sinai, but militants have also struck at officials in Cairo, raising fears of a prolonged and escalating insurgency.

In one of the most brazen attacks, gunmen on Sunday assassinated Lt. Col. Mohamed Mabrouk, a senior Egyptian security official who was responsible for investigating Muslim extremists, firing at his car as he drove to work. An extremist group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday, saying that it was retaliating for the arrests of women protesting the military takeover.

A previously obscure group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has gained prominence with a series of bombings and shootings targeting security officers in the Sinai and Suez Canal area. The group also claimed responsibility for the attempted assassination by suicide bombing of Egypt’s interior minister in the capital two months ago. In a video claiming responsibility for that attack, the group chided mainstream Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood for engaging in nonviolent protests.

In the video, the bomber says that “iron must be fought with iron, and fire with fire.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s bombing. The military said that at about 7:45 a.m., a Hyundai laden with explosives struck the bus, which was carrying soldiers who were going on leave.

Article read in nytimes

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