Nine Egyptian policemen wounded in Sinai blast

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 16, 2013 7:43 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - Nine Egyptian policemen were injured on Monday when a bomb detonated on a road in North Sinai, scene of a surge in Islamist militancy, near the border with the Gaza Strip, security sources said.

The blast hit a police bus as it travelled from Rafah, a town on the Gaza border, to el-Arish, an hour's drive away.

Militants expanded into a security vacuum in the region left by the downfall of autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Attacks on army and police have intensified since the military deposed Egypt's first Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, on July 3 after mass protests against his rule. Since then, more than 100 members of the security forces have been killed in Sinai.

Last week, the army stepped up a campaign to restore control in the area. An army spokesman said on Sunday that the heavy weapons seized from militants in recent operations included anti-aircraft missiles.

(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Kevin Liffey)