CAIRO: Gunmen in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a hotbed of Islamist militant activity, killed three policemen and a soldier Monday while shooting dead a civilian in another attack, officials said.
Violent disorder has gripped the Sinai Peninsula since the army overthrew elected President Mohammad Morsi, an Islamist, in July, plunging the most populous Arab nation into turmoil.
An ensuing security crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, including the arrest of many of its top leaders, has raised fears that Islamists will hit back with violence.
In the latest bloodshed, gunmen killed two policemen as they ate breakfast outside a police station in the city of Al-Arish in North Sinai.
A police officer out walking elsewhere in the city was fatally shot in the head and chest. Gunmen also killed a civilian in the nearby town of Sheikh Zuwaid.
The security sources also confirmed that gunmen had killed a colonel, identified as Mohammad al-Komi, on Aug. 14 on a desert highway near the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.
Later Monday, gunmen targeting an armored personnel carrier stopped at a checkpoint killed a soldier in Al-Arish, the state news agency reported.
Almost daily attacks by Al-Qaeda-inspired militants in the Sinai have killed more than 100 members of the security forces since Mursi’s ouster, the army spokesman said on Sept. 15.
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group claimed responsibility for a failed suicide bombing in Cairo on the interior minister last month.