Suspected militants in Egypt’s North Sinai Province have killed five off-duty security forces, a report says.
Egyptian Rassad news outlet reported that the killings took place in the late hours of Sunday in the al-Hassaneh area of central Sinai.
The security forces, who were in a taxi returning to a base from vacation, were gunned down by unidentified assailants. The gunmen, who spared the taxi driver, fled the scene after the attack.
Security officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of the Ansar Beit al-Maqdis terrorist group, formerly named Velayat Sinai, which in 2014 pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
Daesh is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, and to a lesser extent in Libya.
Earlier, on January 11, four policemen were killed in an attack on a police station in North Sinai; and two days later, a car bombing attack on a checkpoint in Sinai’s el-Arish left nearly a dozen security forces dead. Daesh claimed responsibility for both attacks.
The Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, following another deadly militant attack that left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.
Sinai militants, emboldened by the insecurity that has erupted in Egypt after the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, have carried out numerous attacks against security forces and government officials over the past years.
The militant forces aim to topple Egypt’s current government and establish their own autonomous region in Sinai Peninsula.