EL-ARISH, Egypt — Egyptian officials said Saturday that suspected jihadists have attacked construction workers in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, killing at least four civilian workers.
The officials said the attack took place in the Mediterranean city of el-Arish as workers were building a fence around the city’s airport. They said the attackers wounded five other workers and burned two vehicles.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore hallmarks of an affiliate of the Islamic State group.
Egypt has been battling Islamic terrorists for years, but the insurgency gathered steam and grew deadlier after the 2013 ouster of an Islamist president by President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, then defense minister.
The country’s security forces launched an all-out offensive against militants in February last year.
Earlier this month, the Egyptian Interior Ministry reported that security forces killed four suspected jihadists in the restive northern Sinai allegedly involved in a deadly attack week on a police checkpoint.
The ministry said the suspected attackers were killed in a shootout as security forces raided a building used as a hideout in el-Arish, and three assault rifles and an explosive vest were seized.
The ministry said the four were implicated in an Islamic State-claimed attack on a police checkpoint in northern Sinai days earlier that authorities said left eight policemen dead.
Since the attack, operations by security forces have killed a total of 26 “terrorists” linked to the attack, according to the ministry.