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Egypt: Islamic State claims responsibility for Sinai attack that killed 11 soldiers

One officer and 10 Egyptian soldiers were killed in Saturday's attack on a water-lifting station east of Suez canal
Egyptian forces have for years fought an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, led mainly by the local branch of Islamic State (File pic/AFP)

The Islamic State group on Sunday claimed responsibility for a deadly attack that killed an officer and 10 Egyptian soldiers in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, the group said on its Telegram channel.

The soldiers had been killed on Saturday after "foiling a terrorist attack" on a water-lifting station east of the Suez Canal, an army spokesman said.

The security personnel were killed after clashing with a group of militants who attacked the station, which also resulted in five other servicemen being injured.

"The terrorist elements are being chased and besieged in one of the isolated areas in Sinai," the spokesman added in a statement.

Egyptian forces have for years fought an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, led mainly by the local branch of Islamic State.

Egypt declared war on the group following the military coup in 2013 led by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former army general who ousted his democratically elected civilian predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, though the army had been fighting militants there since 2011.

Last month, Middle East Eye reported that the military, backed by tribal fighters, was making progress in clearing out the area of militants and calling on citizens to return to villages they had been forced to leave as a result of the fighting. 

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