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Islamic State claims car bomb attacks in Egypt's Sinai that killed 23 soldiers

Two cars blew up as they passed through two checkpoints outside of a military compound just south of Rafah, on the border with the Gaza Strip. In photo: An Egyptian soldier stands guard at the border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 07, 2017, 10.09 PM (IST)

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the car bomb attacks in Egypt's Sinai that killed at least 23 soldiers in the deadliest attack in the turbulent region in two years.

The IS issued an online statement saying it carried out the coordinated attack. 

At least 23 soldiers were killed and 26 injured when two car bombs hit two checkpoints just south of Rafah, Reuters cited security sources as saying.

The two cars blew up as they passed through two checkpoints outside of a military compound, on the border with the Gaza Strip, the security sources said. 

Security sources described Friday's attack as a coordinated strike, with car bombs blowing apart checkpoints as gunmen in four-wheel drive vehicles shot down soldiers running for cover.

Militants in armoured vehicles meanwhile fired rocket-propelled grenades at a military site just beyond the checkpoint, the sources said.

The attack is the most severe in Sinai since at least July 2015, when Islamic State militants assaulted simultaneously a slew of checkpoints and military sites around North Sinai. At least 17 soldiers were killed, according to an official tally.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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