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Oct 19, 9:18 AM EDT

Roadside bomb kills 7 in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula


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EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) -- A roadside bomb in Egypt's restive northern Sinai province hit an army vehicle on Sunday, killing 7 troops including two officers and seriously wounding six others, officials said.

The explosion ripped through the armored vehicle traveling south of el-Arish, the provincial capital, as it headed to a natural gas pumping station to comb it for suspected militant activities, the officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

The northern part of the Sinai Peninsula has been a haven for Islamic militants, who have waged regular attacks against troops and security forces.

The attacks have increased and spread beyond Sinai in the wake of the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last year after mass demonstrations demanding his resignation. A subsequent clampdown on Morsi's supporters intensified the wave of retaliatory attacks.

Most of the major attacks were carried out by an al-Qaida-inspired group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, or Champions of Jerusalem, which is based in northern Sinai where the Egyptian army has carried out a yearlong offensive.

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