Army vehicle in North Sinai (AP)
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has strongly condemned a terrorist attack that killed more than a dozen policemen in Egypt's North Sinai on Monday.
In an official statement, members of the UNSC denounced the attack which it described as "heinous and cowardly".
“They [the members of the UNSC] expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Egypt, and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured,” a statement issued to the press by the 15-member body read.
Council members stressed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, accentuating the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these “reprehensible acts of terrorism” to justice.
The UNSC's condemnation follows a series of similar statements by various nations, including US and UK, as well as Arab countries.
On Monday, the Egyptian interior ministry said that militants launched an attack on a police convoy near Arish in North Sinai, killing a number of policemen. It has not provided any further details.
However, late on Monday, Al-Ahram Arabic news website quoted anonymous sources as saying the death toll had reached 18.
According to anonymous security sources quoted by Al-Ahram, militants remotely detonated an IED that destroyed three armoured security vehicles in a convoy 17km from Arish. Meanwhile, a vehicle laden with explosives was driven into the convoy, said Al-Ahram.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, issuing a statement through it's AMAQ media agency.