Smoke rises after a house is blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with the southern Gaza Strip November 3, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
CAIRO, Nov 7 (Aswat Masriya) - Five "extremists" were killed and three others were injured Friday morning in a military aerial bombardment over North Sinai's city of Sheikh Zuweid.
Apache helicopters bombed locations belonging to the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis south of Sheikh Zuweid, one of which hosted a meeting to prepare launching an operation against the security forces today, army sources told Aswat Masriya.
At least 30 military personnel were killed in a suicide blast which targeted a security checkpoint in Sinai's Sheikh Zuweid on Friday, in the worst militant attack since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year. The explosion also caused damage to two military vehicles.
Shortly afterwards, a separate attack by unidentified gunmen on a security checkpoint in al-Arish killed three more security personnel.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency and a nighttime curfew in parts of the Sinai Peninsula in response to the deadly attacks.
Militants have stepped up attacks targeting security forces in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the army's ouster of President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which followed mass protests against his rule.
Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, a jihadist group based in Sinai, previously claimed responsibility for several attacks against Egypt's security forces after Mursi's ouster in July 2013, including an attempt in September, 2013 to assassinate the interior minister as well as several attacks targeting security headquarters and convoys.
A fact-sheet prepared by Egypt's ministry of foreign affairs put the death toll for terrorism acts which took place since January 2011 and until April 2014 at 971, including 664 security personnel.