Egyptian soldier shot dead in Sinai by militants

MENA and AFP, Tuesday 30 Jul 2013

Mahmoud El-Sayed Ahmed's death marks fifth security force casualty in 36-hours in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, as army attempts to crack-down on Islamist militants

An Egyptian soldier was shot dead in the Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, raising the 36-hour toll of security forces in the area to five, local sources said.

Medical and security sources say armed men attacked a military building in Al-Arish, the regional capital of North Sinai, killing 22-year old Mahmoud El-Sayed Ahmed.

A medical source told MENA that El-Sayed was shot in both the stomach and the chest and was transferred Al-Arish general hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Another soldier and three policemen were also killed in the Sinai in the past 36 hours.

Since the popularly-backed army removal of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, hardline Islamist militants in the deserted province have intensified attacks on security checkpoints, exploiting a security vacuum that dates back to the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

At least 20 policemen and 11 soldiers have been killed since Morsi's ouster.

The Sinai is largely inhabited by Bedouins, who are often been at odds with the central government in Cairo.

According to security sources, the army has killed tens of alleged jihadi fighters since launching its latest crackdown against militancy in the Sinai.

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