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The New Arab

Egyptian soldiers killed in Islamic State group Sinai ambush near Gaza border

Egyptian soldiers were ambushed by IS militants [Getty Archive Image]

Date of publication: 3 June, 2020

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An unspecified number of Egyptian soldiers and IS-affiliated militants have been killed and injured in clashes close to the border city of Rafah.

A number of Egyptian soldiers were killed and injured on Wednesday morning in attacks close to the border city of Rafah by a militants from a local Islamic State group affiliate.

Rafah is located in the northeast corner of Egypt's restive Sinai peninsula and on the border with the Gaza Strip, where the Egyptian army has been battling an insurgency since 2013.

Tribal sources and eyewitnesses told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that a clashes erupted on the coast of Rafah after Egyptian troops were ambushed by IS-affiliated militants.

The attack led to deaths and injuries on both sides.

The sources did not specify the number of troops and militants killed and injured, but confirmed that the Egyptian navy and air force intervened in the melee.

Comment: How a violent and lawless Sinai benefits Sisi

Medical sources from the military hospital in El-Arish, the capital of the North Sinai Governorate, were informed of an attack on Egyptian soldiers, stating that the injured and dead were being transported there.

Recently, the Egyptian army launched a new campaign against "Sinai Province" affiliate of IS, in coordination with local tribes in north and central Sinai.

In the final week of May, Egyptian authorities reported that they had killed 40 suspected militants in clashes and airsrtikes.

Human rights groups have criticised the Egyptian army for killing civilians during their anti-IS campaign, often claiming the dead were militants.

In early May, local sources said that 18 "arbitrarily detained" civilians were summarily executed by the Egyptian army in a massacre.

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