El-ARISH, Egypt — A massive explosion, possibly from a car bomb, hit the security headquarters in a southern Sinai town, killing three people and wounding 48, Egyptian officials said Monday.
The attack came hours after six Egyptian soldiers were killed by gunmen in an attack near the Suez canal. It was not immediately known if the incidents were linked.
Also Monday, at least two rocket-propelled grenades slammed into a compound housing the country’s main satellite earth station in a southern Cairo suburb, security officials said.
The security officials said the bombing in the town of al-Tour significantly damaged the four-story building and set off small fires.
They said the death toll was likely to rise as rescue workers and residents searched for victims under the rubble. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Islamic militants, some with al-Qaeda links, have been targeting security forces daily in northern Sinai in what is increasingly becoming a full-fledged insurgency. But the southern part of the strategic peninsula, which includes the popular diving resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, had been peaceful.
In Ismailiya, a town in the Suez canal area of Egypt, six Egyptian soldiers were killed when an army patrol was attacked by gunmen.
Officials said the five were on patrol in a pickup truck when masked gunmen in another vehicle opened fire at them in an area west of the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya on Monday.
The officials say the killed officer was a lieutenant. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The attacks came a day after at least 51 people were killed in clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
Ismailiya and the Suez canal region have been subject to frequent terror attacks against police and military personnel since the July ouster of Morsi, following the military’s recent crackdown on Islamic militants in the Sinai peninsula.