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6 soldiers killed as Sinai attacks on Egyptian army continue

Six soldiers killed, two hurt, by roadside bomb near border with Gaza
The Egyptian army patrols in the restive Sinai peninsular (AFP)

Six Egyptian soldiers were killed and at least two wounded in a bomb attack on their armoured vehicle in the Sinai region on Sunday, security officials said.

The roadside bomb was planted in an area of the northern Sinai peninsula that is a stronghold of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based militant group that in November pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

An officer and five soldiers were killed in the bomb attack, which took place in an area close to the town of Sheikh Zuweid, the security officials said. The town is close to the border with Gaza.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly attacks on Egyptian security forces in recent months.

The army has sent troops and armour to fight a dogged insurgency that has grown in the Sinai peninsula since then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis say their attacks targeting security forces are in retaliation for a government crackdown against Morsi's supporters that has left hundreds dead.

Group claims soldier's beheading

The same group posted a video online appearing to show the shooting dead of an Egyptian soldier and beheading another captive.

The video, uploaded on Saturday on social networks, shows an individual telling the camera that he is an Egyptian soldier who was captured in an ambush on an army outpost in North Sinai on 2 April.

Attacks claimed by militants that day killed 15 soldiers and two civilians near the regional capital of El-Arish, the deadliest assault for months despite a massive army campaign against insurgents on the Sinai Peninsula.

The video then shows the soldier being shot in the head by a masked militant after another unidentified captive is beheaded.

A security official said the soldier's body was retrieved a day after the El-Arish attack.

The Egyptian IS affiliate Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has in the past carried out similar execution-style killings in Sinai of people it accused of spying for Israel.