Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula Israel news photo: Flash 90

Three Egyptian police officers were killed early Sunday in a high speed chase after “armed criminals” in the Sinai Peninsula. Four other security personnel were injured in the accident when the car flipped over while chasing the group of criminals, according to the Egyptian state news agency, MENA.

The “armed criminals,” who were not identified, were racing along the international road in central Sinai, MENA reported. There was also no information on the crime for which they were being chased. It is possible the "criminals" were involved in supplying weapons to terrorists.

International peacekeeping troops exchanged gunfire with a group of terrorists who fired at a checkpoint on the border with Israel Saturday night. The incident, which took place in the central Sinai area of Um Shyhan, did not result in any casualties. The terrorists fled into the northern Sinai town of Sheik Zweid, according to MENA.

The Egyptian government, meanwhile, last week ordered out a massive reinforcement of police officers and Egyptian army personnel to arrest terrorists who earlier in the week killed 20 Egyptian soldiers on the country's border with Israel.

The attackers were members of a Salafi terror organization called Al Takfir wal Hijra, according to a report published last week in the Al Youm al Saba newspaper.

Residents of El Arish in northern Sinai reported on Thursday seeing a force of “unprecedented size,” allegedly including 60 tanks on 30 transporters, 12 APCs (armored personnel carriers), 15 additional armored vehicles, more than 20 armored jeeps and MP (military police) jeeps.

Israeli diplomatic sources said the Cabinet in Jerusalem approved a Cairo request to send five helicopters to the Sinai Peninsula to assist in the fight against terrorist elements there.

The terrorists had attacked the troops while they were breaking their daily Ramadan fast, then stole two armored vehicles – one of which blew up at the border -- and attempted to infiltrate near the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel.

Although Egyptian reports claimed the terrorists killed others, Israeli sources reported that despite a barrage of rockets and mortar shells, there were no casualties. It is not clear whether the attempted infiltration was successful or aborted.