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Islamic State Claims Attack on Police in Suez Canal City

Map of Suez Canal. The city of Ismailia is south of Port Said.
Map of Suez Canal. The city of Ismailia is south of Port Said.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Saturday for an attack Friday on a police checkpoint in Egypt's Suez Canal city of Ismailia. At least four people, including three police officers, were killed, officials and state-run media said.

The attack also wounded 12 others, mostly conscripts who were taken to a hospital, according to a casualty tally document at the hospital.

The dead included three police officers and a still unidentified person, the hospital document obtained by The Associated Press showed.

"A cell of soldiers of the caliphate managed to attack an Egyptian police roadblock … with a machine gun," the militant group's Amaq news agency said Saturday.

The attack took place late in the afternoon in Ismailia city, on the western side of the Suez Canal, according to security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The media office of Ismailia province described the attack as a terrorist strike.

State-run al-Qahera New television reported that security forces killed one of the attackers. It broadcast graphic footage purportedly showing a body, saying it was the dead militant.

Egypt has been battling the Islamic State extremist group in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula for years. The militants have carried out numerous attacks in Sinai and elsewhere in the country, mainly targeting security forces, minority Christians, and those who they accuse of collaborating with the military and police.

In May, at least 11 Egyptian soldiers, including an officer, were killed in a militant attack on a water pumping station east of the Suez Canal.

The pace of IS attacks in Sinai's main theater and elsewhere has slowed to a trickle since February 2018, when the military launched a big operation in Sinai as well as parts of the Nile Delta and deserts along the country's western border with Libya.