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Egyptian policeman killed in Sinai explosion

Ahram Online , Sunday 23 Nov 2014
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An Egyptian policeman was killed when an armoured vehicle exploded on the western outskirts of Sinai's Arish, Ahram's Arabic news website reported on Sunday.

Medical sources said Ahmed Bakr, 28, was killed in the blast while another policeman, Haitham Abdel-Maqsoud, was injured and taken to hospital.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion.

Egypt's military has been combatting a decade-long jihadist insurgency in Sinai, with attacks increasing over the past year. Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed, while the army says it has killed and arrested hundreds of jihadists. Civilians have also been caught in the violence.

In October, Egypt announced a three-month state of emergency in Sinai and a curfew from 5pm to 7am  in parts of the governorate.

Earlier in November, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, Egypt's deadliest militant group operating in Sinai, swore allegiance to the jihadist Islamic State, which has seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq in recent months.

Authorities began demolishing houses and clearing residents along the Egyptian border with Gaza, to set a buffer zone in order to better fight the militant insurgency following a deadly attack by militants that killed 30 soldiers on 24 October.

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