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At least 3 Egypt police killed in Sinai bombing: State TV

In attack claimed by IS, a suicide bomber rammed a car into a police club in El-Arish
The Palestinian side of the Rafah border with Egypt shows an area where houses were destroyed by Egyptian security forces (AFP)

At least three Egyptian policemen were killed when a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a police club in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, state media reported, as the Islamic State group claimed the attack.

State television said there were also wounded in the bombing in North Sinai provincial capital, El-Arish. 

The Islamic State (IS) group's affiliate in the Sinai said one of its militants drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a police club in the town.

The militants have carried out a string of attacks in or around the provincial capital in recent months after the army launched a sweeping campaign in the peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The attack came days after a Russian passenger plane crashed in the peninsula after taking off from a resort airport in South Sinai, killing all 224 people on board.

IS has claimed it downed the plane, but has not provided any details, and experts say other scenarios include a mechanical fault that caused it to disintegrate in mid air.

The group has deployed shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles in the past, but they are not known to possess weapons that could bring down an airliner flying at high altitude. 

Militants in the Sinai have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

They say their attacks have been in retaliation for an ensuing police crackdown in which hundreds of Morsi supporters have been killed and thousands, including the ousted president, have been jailed.

Human rights advocates have said that Egypt's military campaign in Sinai, that started in July 2013 and has been ramped up since a major attack on 24 October 2014 killed at least 31 security personnel, has harmed the lives of thousands of civilians and has risked turning more Egyptians against the government.

Over the two years, 3,200 families have been evicted from their homes as the government razed buildings near the Gaza border in a bid to destroy tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip with Egypt, according to Human Rights Watch.  

In an interview with the BBC, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi, who is expected to arrive in London on Thursday, said the Sinai "is under our full control".

But the attacks around El-Arish suggest the militants are still capable of continuing their offensive.

In its statement on Wednesday, IS said it carried out the bombing against the "apostate" police force in retaliation for the arrests of Bedouin women in the region.

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