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Officials: Egypt bombing kills 11 police officers

EL-ARISH, Egypt — A roadside bomb exploded Tuesday near an armored police vehicle traveling in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, killing 11 police officers, including a senior official, security and medical officials said.

The bomb appeared to have been detonated by remote control and went off as the police vehicle was driving through the village of el-Wefaq near the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip, security officials said.

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A medical official said the explosion also wounded two officers. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

The Egyptian military, aided by police forces, is carrying out an offensive in the northern Sinai, a militant stronghold where it has killed and captured dozens of suspects in recent months.

The country has been battling an Islamic insurgency in the area for years, but violence there dramatically escalated after the military’s ouster last July of president Mohammed Morsi and its subsequent crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

An Al Qaeda-inspired group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for a series of explosions and suicide attacks over the past year, mostly targeting police officers and soldiers.

On Sunday, troops raided the village of el-Wefaq, killing six militants, officials said. Also on Sunday, a leading member of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was killed during clashes with security forces in el-Arish, the provincial capital of northern Sinai, authorities said.

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