Ten Egyptian soldiers killed or injured in North Sinai blast, says army

The Egyptian military said on Thursday that 10 soldiers had been killed or injured in an explosion targeting an armored vehicle in northern Sinai.

The attack took place south of the city of Bir al-Abed in the troubled North Sinai region, the epicenter of a long-standing Islamist insurgency led by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

Army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said the 10 victims included an officer, but did not provide details on the number of people killed or injured.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered condolences to the victims on Twitter.

Security forces have been fighting for years to contain the insurgency in turbulent northern Sinai that intensified after the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Dozens of soldiers and police have been killed in militant attacks, particularly in the turbulent region over the years.

In February 2018, Egyptian security forces launched a large-scale national operation against militants, mainly concentrated in the North Sinai region.

More than 845 suspected activists have been killed in the region as well as more than 60 members of the security forces, according to army figures.