Ten Egyptian soldiers were killed Wednesday when a bomb exploded as they were traveling near El Arish in central Sinai. Over 100 soldiers were injured.
The soldiers were riding in two trucks when a roadside bomb went off. Ambulances rushed to the scene to transport the injured to the hospital. No group claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Egyptian officials strongly suspect radical Islamist terrorists as being responsible.
The soldiers were part of the many patrols the Egyptian army has sent to Sinai to rout out the last vestiges of Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups that have taken refuge in the area. However, the Egyptian campaign has been less than a resounding success. Terror cells have repeatedly attacked Egyptian soldiers and army units, killing dozens in the months since the Egyptian army booted former President Mohammed Morsi from office.
The Islamist groups have a strong presence in Sinai, which is almost impossible to patrol thoroughly. Last month, the army arrested 27 members of a group the government said was planning to murder Egypt’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, in September. The group was affiliated with the Sinai Peninsula-based Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, Arab media reported, and had also involved in a church bombing in the capital last week, in addition to other terrorist attacks in the country, the report said.
Sources in Egypt said that in recent weeks, Muslim Brotherhood members had begun cooperating with members of Al Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups. The Brotherhood members have been receiving training and arms from Al Qaeda and other groups, the sources said.