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Roadside bomb kills 6 police officers in Egypt's Sinai

Two officers were also wounded in Tuesday morning's attack on a convoy travelling between El-Arish and Rafah on the Gaza border
The Egyptian army have carried out a huge security operation in the restive Sinai Peninsula (AFP)

Six police officers have been killed by a bomb in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday morning, according to the country's interior ministry.

“As a joint army-police force was passing on the Rafah-Arish road in northern Sinai, an explosive charge went off at one of the armoured vehicles,” the ministry said in a statement.

Two policemen were also wounded in the attack, the interior ministry said.

Security services have cordoned off the area for investigation.

The attack comes two days after the ministry said they had killed seven “terrorists” affiliated with the militant Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group in Sinai. Authorities accuse the group of involvement in three major attacks that have killed a total of 33 Egyptian police officers.

Militant groups have stepped up attacks in the restive peninsula since last year’s popularly backed military coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi.

Eleven Egyptian police officers were killed on 2 September when a roadside bomb hit their armoured vehicle on the road leading to Rafah. Four other officers were injured in the attack.

The army has launched a huge security operation in the peninsula over the past 12 months. They claim to have killed scores of militants, although locals have accused soldiers of targeting civilians and damaging property including mosques.

The security campaign has inflamed tensions in the historically marginalised region, where Bedouin have long complained of discrimination by the central government in Cairo.