Militants gun down 2 policemen in Egypt's Sinai: police


An Egyptian truck carrying armoured vehicles through El-Arish on the Sinai Peninsula in 2011.



Islamist militants armed with machine guns attacked a police checkpoint in Egypt's Sinai peninsula today, killing at least two officers, local officials told the Associated Press

The gunmen, driving weapon-mounted vehicles, opened fire at a security point near the town of Al-Arish, according to Agence-France Press.

The attack killed two 21-year-old officers, Mohammed Fawzi and Mohammed Mosleh, said AFP. A search for the attackers is reportedly under way.

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Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has long seen occasional flashes of violence between security forces and its Bedouin population. The tribes have recently risen up in protest of their treatment by the police under former President Hosni Mubarak, however, demanding the release of prisoners jailed under his administration. 

The longtime Egyptian leader was overthrown by popular protest a year ago in unrest that also saw a number of troops pulled from the Sinai region, giving Islamic militants an opportunity to increase their presence in the area, according to AP