Car bomb (illustration)
Car bomb (illustration) Thinkstock

At least 26 people were killed on Thursday in a series of terrorist attacks targeting army and police positions in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the website of the Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

Reportedly the Islamic State (ISIS) branch in the Sinai has taken credit for the attacks.

The attacks included car bombs and mortar rounds, and civilians were among those killed, according to the report. Reports also indicated that a senior captain may have been among the dead.

36 people were injured in the attacks in the town of El-Arish, in North Sinai, where the army is battling an Islamist insurgency that has spiked since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

The terrorists fired mortar rounds and used car bombs in the attacks that targeted the headquarters of the North Sinai security directorate in El-Arish, a nearby army base, a hotel and several security checkpoints.

Walls of surrounding buildings were cracked and windows were smashed, as troops combed the area in search of suspects, according to Al-Ahram.

The El-Arish office of the newspaper, located near the targeted police building, was slightly damaged in the attack.

The military said in a statement that the violence came in response to the "successful" security campaign against terrorists in the restive province.

The Egyptian army has been waging war against jihadists in the restive Sinai, and has killed hundreds of terrorists.

The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis has have declared responsibility for most of the attacks in the area. Among the attacks claimed by the group since Morsi's ouster was the assassination of a top Egyptian police general, who was gunned down as he left his home in a west Cairo neighborhood, and a bus bombing on a tour bus filled with South Korean tourists in the Sinai. 

The army imposed a curfew on the region  on October 25, following two deadly attacks in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.

Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, explaining the move was necessary because Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai.