File Photo: Smoke emerges following a blast in North Sinai (Photo: Reuters)
A North Sinai police colonel was killed Wednesday night in a bomb attack on a security checkpoint in North Sinai, Egypt’s interior ministry announced.
Colonel Yasser El-Hadidi was killed when a bomb exploded near his patrol in El-Arish, in the vicinity of the city’s third police station, the ministry said on its official Facebook page.
Three other policemen were also injured in the attack.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes only a few days after the army said security forces arrested 12 "extremely dangerous" leaders of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis in central Sinai.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the main Islamist group battling the Egyptian state in North Sinai, has changed its name from "Sinai Province" to the "Islamic State in Egypt."’
The leaders had been planning to execute a range of "deadly" attacks in the near future, according to an army statement on Saturday.
Egypt’s army and police forces have been waging a war over the past several years against an Islamist militant insurgency in North Sinai.
Recently, security forces’ operations on the peninsula have extended into its central region, conducting a number of attacks in the area.
Hundreds of security personnel have been killed in terror attacks by the militants.
The army says it has killed hundreds of militants in intensified comprehensive military campaigns in the governorate.