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Suicide bombing in Egypt's Sinai leaves several people dead

At least four members of Egypt's security forces and three civilians, including a six-year-old, were killed
Back in February, militants killed 15 Egyptian soldiers in Sinai (AFP-File)

A 15-year-old boy on Tuesday set off a suicide bomb in the northern region of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing several people and injuring dozens more, the interior ministry said on Twitter

At least four members of Egypt's security forces and three civilians, including a six-year-old, died in the attack that took place in a busy marketplace near a police station in the town of Sheikh Zuweid.

Twenty-six others were wounded, according to the ministry. 

The attack happened when security forces were conducting "a sweep" near the market, the statement said.

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The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack on social media pages, and said 15 people were killed or wounded, according to an AFP news agency report. 

The group also said the suicide bomber had detonated an explosive vest when he was near a police foot patrol.

The information shared by the IS group could not be immediately verified.

Egypt's security forces have waged a campaign against militants in the restive region for the past year.

On 18 February, three police officers were killed and three others were wounded when an explosive device carried by a man they were pursuing detonated in the heart of Cairo, the interior ministry said at the time. 

According to the ministry, security forces were pursuing the man in search of the perpetrator of an attempted attack against a police patrol west of the capital.

Days before the 18 February attack, the Egyptian military reported 15 of its personnel had been killed in a clash in North Sinai in which seven militants were also killed.