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Mortar round kills five Egyptians in Sinai

Egyptian military officials say they killed 241 militants in Sinai over four days last month
An Egyptian army vehicle patrols along the border with the Gaza Strip in Rafah last year (AFP)

Five Egyptian civilians were killed on Wednesday when a mortar round hit a house in a North Sinai village where the army is battling militant insurgents, security officials said.

It was not immediately clear who fired the projectile, which also wounded four people. Both soldiers and militants use mortars in skirmishes.

The military said on Monday it had killed 241 militants in the Sinai between 1 and 5 July, while losing 21 soldiers in militant attacks.

The military has poured troops and armour into the peninsula where security forces have been fighting a militant insurgency since then-army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Wilayat Sinai, which changed its name from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis after declaring allegiance to the Islamic State group, is the leading militant group in the peninsula that borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

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