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Militants kill Egyptian soldier, policeman in Sinai Peninsula

The photo shows smoke billowing from a building in Egypt's North Sinai following attacks on checkpoints in the volatile region. (Photo by AFP)

An Egyptian soldier and a policeman have been killed in separate attacks by suspected Takfiri militants in the turbulent north of the Sinai Peninsula, security officials say.

The officials said on Monday that five troops were wounded when their armored vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the border town of Rafah late on Sunday.

The soldiers came under fire immediately after the bomb went off in the violence-wracked region of the North African country.

Separately, a militant sniper killed a policeman on duty at a checkpoint in Sinai's coastal city of el-Arish on Sunday night.

The Egyptian military has been struggling to contain an insurgency by militants in northern Sinai.

At least 26 Egyptian soldiers were killed or wounded on July 7, 2017, in attacks on checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula. 

Militants battling Egyptian security forces in Sinai are led by Velayat Sinai, a local affiliate of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The extremist group, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, is behind most of the deadly attacks in the volatile region. The group pledged allegiance to Daesh in 2014.

Since its emergence in 2013, Velayat Sinai has killed hundreds of members of Egyptian security forces.

Velayat Sinai later expanded its assaults to target members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community as well as foreigners visiting the country.

Egypt has been suffering from a spike in terrorist attacks targeting civilians in the mainland over the past year.

That has prompted the government to impose a state of emergency and widen a controversial crackdown, which critics say has mostly targeted dissidents.

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