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May 4, 10:45 AM EDT

In Egypt, militants attack security forces' base in Sinai

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EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) -- Egyptian officials say suspected Islamic militants have attacked a security forces' base in northern Sinai, near the border with Gaza. There was no immediate word on casualties.

Security officials say explosions rocked the Central Security base in the border town of Rafah around noon on Monday after attackers fired mortars targeting the camp.

The officials say that fierce clashes are underway between the militants and security forces. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Egypt has been battling an Islamic insurgency in northern Sinai for years, but attacks against the army and police dramatically increased after the July 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The Islamic State affiliate based in Sinai has claimed a series of large-scale assaults there.

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