EL-ARISH, Egypt — Egyptian security officials said a sniper killed a soldier standing guard on a rooftop in the northern Sinai Peninsula, where the government faces an insurgency by Islamic hard-liners.
The officials said the soldier, posted on a government building, was shot by an unknown gunman from a nearby building in the town of Sheikh Zuweyid. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.
The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency identified the soldier as 21-year-old Mustafa Jumaah.
According to Ma’an, Egyptian aircraft scanned the area around Sheikh Zuweyid for the shooter, while ground forces searched for militant hideouts in the town and in neighboring Rafah.
On Friday, unknown assailants killed an Egyptian police officer in northern Sinai, as hundreds took to the streets in scattered protests against the military’s ousting of the former Islamist president.
According to an Egyptian security official, the young officer killed on Friday in the city of El-Arish was driving back home when two attackers opened fire on him and fled. He was found with twenty bullets in his head and his chest, the official said.
In a separate incident also in Sinai, militants struck two armored military vehicles with a roadside bomb, according to the official.
Army and police forces have stepped up their campaign against militants in the restive region that borders the Gaza Strip and Israel. Attacks against security forces surged in Sinai after the military removed President Mohammed Morsi from office on July 3 following mass protests.