18 policemen were killed in a violent attack on Monday afternoon, after militants targeted their patrol near ‘El Telolal’ suburb located south of the Egypt North Sinai city of Al-Arish, according to the state-run newspaper of Akhabr Al Youm.
The attackers planted ‘IED’ ‘Improvised Explosive Devices’ on the patrol roads of the ‘El Telolal’ suburb. The ‘IED’ attack was followed by a ground attack from militants, who are believed to be members of the IS affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’, security sources told Egypt Independent on condition of anonymity.
The targeted police patrol, composed of three armored vehicles, was securing the transfer of number of police conscripts headed to bus stations to leave North Sinai to their home cities for vacation, the source added.
“The militants started to open fire against the injured conscripts, who were on the ground as a result of the IED attack, moreover the ambulance vehicles were not able to easily reach the attack site as the roads surrounding the site were planted with ‘IED’s” the source explained.
The ground clashes led to the injury of six policemen and a paramedic who was trying to reach the attack with his ambulance. The ambulance was then destroyed after being targeted by an ‘IED’, a North Sinai journalist revealed on conditions of anonymity.
He added that the clashes are still ongoing between police and army forces against the militants, three of whom were killed. Ambulances still cannot reach the battle site, as surrounding roads’ have been bombed.
The Interior Ministry released a statement on the attack without clarifying the death toll and the policemen injured. The ministry was unreachable through its media offices.
Moreover , IS group claimed responsibility on the attack through affiliated media outlet of ‘Ammaq’.
Egyptian army and security forces have engaged in a violent military confrontations with the IS affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’, previously known as ‘Ansar Byat El –Maqdus.’
The group declared affiliation to IS in 2014 and consider army and police members as ‘apostates’ who should be killed for the sake of the state Caliphate.