Daesh [the Arabic acronym for the Takfiri ‘ISIS/ISIL' group] terrorists ambushed a police convoy in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Monday, killing 18 police and wounding seven others in one of the deadliest attacks this year in the restive region bordering the ‘Israeli' entity and the Gaza Strip.
Police and military officials said roadside bombs destroyed and set ablaze four armored vehicles and a fifth carrying signal-jamming equipment meant to neutralize roadside bombs that are remotely detonated. The terrorists later opened fire with machine guns and commandeered a police pickup truck.
The attack took place on the western fringes of the coastal city of al-Arish in northern Sinai.
Among those killed were two police lieutenants. The wounded included a police brigadier general, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.
Daesh, which is spearheading an insurgency centered in northern Sinai, claimed responsibility for the attack on its Amaq news agency.
The Interior Ministry issued a statement confirming the incident, but its account provided no details on casualty figures or how many vehicles were destroyed.
It said police traveling in the convoy fired at a car that rushed toward them, causing it to blow up and damage several of the convoy's vehicles, before an exchange of gunfire with "terrorist elements" hiding in the desert on both sides of the road.
Egypt's Cabinet issued a statement in response to the attack, reiterating the country's resolve to stamp out terrorism and hunt down militants. Again, no casualty figures or details of the attack were provided.
The attack suggested that the terrorists remain capable of carefully planning elaborate and multi-tiered attacks, making full use of the weapons available to them and their knowledge of the local terrain.
Monday's attack came a day after authorities said they had busted a militant cell planning attacks in Cairo. Police said they killed 10 militants in two simultaneous raids on apartments in a densely populated Cairo neighborhood. They said the militants sneaked into the capital from northern Sinai, but did not say whether they were members of the Daesh group.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team