Egypt attacks target security forces

Egyptian security forces have been targeted in several attacks around the country, reports say.

Gunmen killed five Egyptian soldiers who were in a patrol vehicle outside of the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, say security officials.

A large car bomb struck headquarters of the security forces in southern Sinai, killing five, while a rocket attack hit a satellite station in a Cairo suburb.

The attacks follow a day of deadly clashes on Sunday.

Security forces have been the frequent victims of attacks in northern Sinai, where analysts say a fully fledged insurgency is building.

But the south of the peninsula – key to Egypt’s economy due to tourism – has remained largely peaceful.

In Monday’s string of violent attacks:

  • A lieutenant was among the five soldiers killed in a drive-by shooting by gunmen outside Ismailiya, Associated Press news agency quoted officials as saying
  • Five people died and 40 were injured in the car bomb attack in the town of al-Tour, southern Sinai, security sources told BBC Arabic – leaving the four-storey headquarters significantly damaged and people feared trapped under rubble
  • Assailants fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a state-owned satellite station in the Maadi suburb of Cairo, reportedly causing damage to a satellite dish

Sinai has been dubbed the “new Afghanistan”, says the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville in Cairo, and the Egyptian military is in the middle of an enormous operation there.

The attacks on security targets come a day after more than 50 people were killed – mostly in Cairo – as the security forces clashed with thousands of supporters of the ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, in the most intense violence for several weeks.

Cairo itself has returned to calm for now, although the Islamists have urged their supporters to continue their protests.

This morning’s attacks will raise fears further of a confrontation between Islamists and the army, correspondents say.