Friday, October 24, 2014

Death Toll Rises to 26 Soldiers From Car Bomb on Sinai Checkpoint
Egyptian soldiers on guard in the Sinai on the border with Gaza.
Ahram Online, Friday 24 Oct 2014

A bomb at a security checkpoint has killed at least 26 army conscripts and injured 26 others in the North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuwaid, the largest number of army troops to die in a single attack in North Sinai, a security source told Reuters' Aswat Masriya news website on Friday.

Aswat Masriya had earlier reported that the death toll was 29, but has since lowered the figure.

Al-Ahram's correspondent in North Sinai described the explosion as a car bomb that detonated at a security checkpoint in Karm Al-Kwadis in Sheikh Zuwaid.

The bodies of the victims and the injured soldiers have been transferred to the military hospital and the general hospital in Al-Arish, the biggest city in North Sinai, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

Medical teams are being sent to Al-Arish's military hospital, said Health Minister Adel El-Adawi.

Al-Arish's general hospital called on residents to donate blood in order to save the injured soldiers.

After the attack, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for an urgent meeting with the National Defence Council to discuss the security situation in North Sinai, according to Egypt's state-run TV.

The National Defence Council is made up of the prime minister, the head of the parliament, the minister of defence and the commanders of the Egyptian armed forces, and is chaired by the president.

A militant insurgency by jihadist groups in Sinai has become more active since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Hundreds of police and army officers and personnel as well as militants have been killed in the violence.

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