EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Suspected Islamic militants on Monday set off a roadside bomb in the Sinai Peninsula as a bus full of police conscripts was driving by, wounding nine of them, security officials said.
The blast on the outskirts of the coastal city of el-Arish in northern Sinai came amid a major counterinsurgency operation by Egypt’s military and police in the lawless desert region.
The offensive followed a surge of attacks by insurgents triggered by the army’s July 3 overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and subsequent violence.
The worst insurgent attack in Sinai during that period took place on Aug. 19 when militants pulled 25 police conscripts off minibuses and shot them dead on the side of the road.
The bus bombed Monday was traveling from the border town of Rafah to el-Arish escorted by an armored police car. The bomb was set off by remote control, said the officials.