Middle East

Egypt crisis: Four killed in Sinai suicide attack


At least four members of Egypt's security forces have been killed in a suicide car bombing in northern Sinai, state media and officials say.

The vehicle blew up at a checkpoint just south of the the town of el-Arish when personnel were about to search it, the Associated Press reports.

Soldiers and at least one policeman are among the dead. Five have been wounded.

Egypt's security forces have been engaged in a major offensive against Islamist militants in Sinai for weeks.

Attacks on security forces have increased since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was ousted by the military in early July, prompting a large-scale operation by the military.

Earlier this week, four people were killed and 45 injured in a car bomb attack on a security building in al-Tour, in southern Sinai.

Last month, at least six soldiers were killed in a double suicide bomb attack in Rafah, on the border with the Gaza Strip.

The Egyptian military has recently cracked down on tunnels used by militants and smugglers under the border.

Local media reports suggest the Egyptian army is considering military action in the Gaza Strip if attacks on its troops in the Sinai Peninsula are not stopped.

The Sinai region has grown increasingly volatile since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

During his period in office, President Morsi took measures to curb the lawlessness, but he was accused by the army of being too lenient.