Bomb blast wounds 18 Egyptian soldiers in restive Sinai

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CARIO, Jul 26: A bomb explosion in Egypt’s troubled Sinai Peninsula has left at least 18 soldiers wounded.
The incident happened on Sunday morning when a vehicle carrying the Egyptian troops hit a roadside bomb in the Kholafaa area of the city of el-Arish in the North Sinai province, Egyp’s al-Youm al-Sabea daily reported.
Medical sources at el-Arish military hospital said they have received the wounded soldiers for treatment, adding that their injuries are not fatal.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing but it bears the hallmark of militants affiliated to the ISIL terrorist group.
The new attack came as Egypt has extended by three months a state of emergency in the north of the Sinai Peninsula amid surging violence fueled by militants in the volatile region.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab announced the decision in a written decree on Saturday, saying the measure will start on Sunday in the town of Sheikh Zuweid as well as the cities of Rafah and el-Arish along with their surrounding areas, which are all situated in the North Sinai province.
The measure also extends a night-time curfew in the aforesaid places, the Egyptian premier added.
A state of emergency was first declared in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula in October 24, when a militant attack on an Egyptian army checkpoint left over 30 soldiers dead, and was extended for two three-month periods in January and April.

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