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At least 3 Egyptian police killed in Sinai bombing

Suicide car attack is latest strike by jihadist insurgency; Islamic State’s Sinai Province claims responsibility

Illustrative: Egyptians gather at the scene following a bombing that struck a main police station in the capital of the northern Sinai province in el-Arish, Egypt, April 12, 2015. (Muhamed Sabry/AP)
Illustrative: Egyptians gather at the scene following a bombing that struck a main police station in the capital of the northern Sinai province in el-Arish, Egypt, April 12, 2015. (Muhamed Sabry/AP)

CAIRO, Egypt — At least three Egyptian policemen were killed when a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a police club in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, state media reported, as the Islamic State group claimed the attack.

State television said there were also wounded in the bombing in the North Sinai provincial capital el-Arish.

The Islamic State group’s affiliate in the Sinai said one of its fighters drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a police club in the town.

The jihadists have carried out a string of attacks in or around the provincial capital in recent months after the army launched a sweeping campaign in the peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The attack came days after a Russian passenger plane crashed in the peninsula after taking off from a resort airport in South Sinai, killing all 224 people on board.

IS has claimed it downed the plane but provided no details, and experts say the group does not have weapons capable of reaching a plane flying at the height of commercial air traffic.

IS’s so-called “Sinai Province” has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

They say their attacks have been in retaliation for an ensuing police crackdown in which hundreds of Morsi supporters have been killed and thousands, including the ousted president, have been jailed.

In an interview with the BBC, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who is expected in London on Thursday, said the Sinai “is under our full control.”

But the attacks around el-Arish suggest the jihadists are still capable of continuing their deadly insurgency.

In its statement on Wednesday, IS said it carried out the bombing against the “apostate” police force in retaliation for the arrests of Bedouin women in the region.

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