ISIL claims deadly attacks on Egypt police in Sinai

The "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attacks on North Sinai police checkpoints which Egyptian authorities say killed eight policemen and one civilian, according to Egypt's Ahram Online.

The group claimed that the death toll was higher than that reported by Egyptian authorities.

"Twenty-five policemen were killed on Monday in a surprise attack launched by ISIL fighters on el-Matafe checkpoint in el-Masaeed neighbourhood west of Al-Arish in North Sinai," the group’s Amaq news agency said in a statement.

On Monday, state-owned MENA agency quoted Egyptian security sources as saying that eight policemen and one civilian were killed and 22 others were injured in two separate attacks on North Sinai checkpoints.

The Amaq statement said that a car rigged with a bomb exploded at one of the checkpoints, after which ISIL gunmen killed the policemen who survived the explosion.

The group also claimed that it destroyed two armoured police vehicles.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior on Monday afternoon, the first attack took place at el-Matafe checkpoint in el-Arish and was carried out by around 20 militants using rocket-propelled grenades and a car rigged with explosives.

The ministry said militants also targeted el-Masaeed checkpoint on the Ring Road, killing a police conscript during an exchange of fire.

The ministry said security forces were able to "fight off the terrorist attack", killing five militants and injuring three others.

The attacks came days after the Egyptian army said it was able to foil a plot by militants to attack several North Sinai checkpoints.

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