ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Gunmen kill Egyptian police colonel, conscript

Islamic State claims attack west of Cairo in which officials say a traffic police district commander and driver died

Security personnel and investigators gather at the scene of a drive-by shooting on a security checkpoint that has killed several policemen near Saqqara, home to the 4,600-year-old Step Pyramid, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Ravy Shaker)
Security personnel and investigators gather at the scene of a drive-by shooting on a security checkpoint that has killed several policemen near Saqqara, home to the 4,600-year-old Step Pyramid, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Ravy Shaker)

CAIRO, Egypt — The Islamic State group said its gunmen shot dead an Egyptian police colonel and a conscript west of Cairo as they traveled to work on Saturday.

The colonel, a traffic police district commander, and the conscript, who was driving, died in their car after coming under fire by unknown assailants, the interior ministry had said.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Islamic State group said its men opened fire on three vehicles in the colonel’s convoy.

The group’s Egypt affiliate has claimed credit in the past for similar attacks in the capital and the Sinai Peninsula, where its insurgency is based.

The militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the military toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and cracked down on his followers.

 

They also claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian airliner over Sinai in October, killing all 224 people on board.

The killings come on the heels of a knife attack on tourists at a Red Sea resort hotel Friday that wounded two Austrians and a Swede. Egypt Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou was to visit the victims on Saturday.

The health ministry said the tourists suffered stab wounds and were in stable condition. It was the second attack in as many days against an Egyptian hotel.

Police shot dead one of the assailants and badly wounded the other, after they targeted the tourists in the beachfront Bella Vista hotel. The interior ministry said the assailants entered the hotel from a restaurant on the street front.

A video published by Egyptian news websites appeared to show the wounded assailant receiving emergency medical treatment and being questioned on his identity. He appears to have been shot in both legs.

Zazou described the assailants as “amateurish” and said their motive was not yet clear.

The incident further threatened efforts to repair the country’s damaged tourism industry, coming a day after a Cairo hotel hosting Israeli tourists was attacked by men who hurled fireworks and fired birdshot.

The Islamic State group claimed credit for that attack, which they said targeted “Jewish” tourists.

Police said they were Israeli Arab tourists, and the assailants had targeted policemen outside the hotel and not the tourists.

One of the Israeli tourists said, however, that the attack was more intense than the Egyptian authorities had admitted.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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