Egypt’s Armed Forces announced on Friday that 26 soldiers were killed or wounded in an attacks on security checkpoints near the North Sinai town of Rafah.
According to the statement, Egyptian security forces “successfully foiled” a number of terrorist assaults on checkpoints south of Rafah, killing up to 40 terrorists.
The statement added that the militants used car bombs and heavy weaponry in their attacks, killing or injuring 26 soldiers. The Egyptian Armed Forces did not clarify how many of the soldiers were killed in the attack.
Along with killing 40 terrorists, the Egyptian Armed Forces said that six vehicles used during the attacks had been destroyed.
In a post on Facebook following the statement, the Armed Forces spokesperson shared photographs showing the lifeless bodies of some of the dead terrorists. The photographs show the attackers wearing bloodied camouflage fatigue on their torso, and regular attire on the bottom.
Following the attack, Al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, and the Coptic Orthodox Church condemned the attack. Condemnations also flowed in from Saudi Arabia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the UAE, Kuwait, Tunisia, and more.
Egypt’s military, in cooperation with local tribes, has waged a war against militancy in North Sinai, killing hundreds of suspected terrorists. An estimated 2100 people were killed in North Sinai in 2015, including roughly 1800 described by the military as “terrorists,” 150 civilians, 40 police officers and conscripts, and 140 military personnel.