Aug. 9, 2012 file photo, army trucks carry Egyptian military tanks in El Arish, Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula. (AP)
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) branch in Egypt has claimed responsibility for a wave of deadly attacks that killed 15 Egyptian soldiers and three civilians the previous day in volatile northern Sinai.
A statement posted Friday on a militant website associated with the group, known as “Sinai Province,” says its fighters attacked seven checkpoints, killing “dozens of soldiers” on a main road in the Sinai Peninsula leading to the border with Gaza Strip.
Egyptian authorities said 15 soldiers were killed and 19 were wounded in an attack on a checkpoint on Thursday south of the town of Sheikh Zuweyid. Three civilians died in near-simultaneous attacks elsewhere in Sinai, suggesting careful planning by the militants.
The attacks were the latest in a series of large-scale assaults by the Sinai-based militant branch.