The Egyptian military force have confirmed the killing of eleven of its troops including an officer on Saturday.
In what has been ruled as an ambush, the incident occurred in the northern part of the Sinai peninsula, where an exchange of gunfire ensued. The attack also left at least five other members of the force wounded.
According to a statement put out, the unknown militants zeroed in on a water pumping station, east of the Suez canal. The particular location was however witheld by the Egyptian military; but is a part of the resistive region of the Sinai peninsula.
The clash also led to a pursuit in an isolated area in Sinai.
Saturdays attack comes after a natural gas pipeline was blown up last week by suspected militants in Bir al-Abd; a town in Sinai’s northern region. There were no casualties in that instance, but a fire was reported.
No extremist or terrorist group have claimed responsibility for both attacks; with Saturday’s exchange seen as one of the deadliest involving Egyptian security forces in recent times.
Historical stance shows that Egypt have faced several Islamic State-led insurgencies in the Sinai region, spanning over nine years. The issue dates back to when military forces overthrew the then Islamist president which was elected into office.
The president at the time was regarded as ‘divisive’, as Christians and security forces have been targeted by militants on many occasions after his removal from power.
Militant attacks have been doused to a minimum in Sinai’s main theatre of operations since early 2018; when they heated-up the region. The unrest have also led to the barring of non-residents, observers, and even journalists from the locale.
Though the public have been exposed to the situation in Sinai, clashes and attacks have largely been distanced from tourist resorts at the peninsula—particularly the southern part.