March 12, 2015 / 11:59 PM / 2 years ago

An attack wounded three army members in Egypt's Sinai: sources

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) - An attack on a checkpoint with rocket-propelled grenades wounded one army officer and two other soldiers in the Egyptian city of al-Arish on Thursday, security sources said, the latest in a string of attacks in the Sinai peninsula.

The attack came at the eve of an investment conference in the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, 340 km (210 miles) south of al-Arish, that Egypt hopes will project an image of stability and attract billions of dollars.

Gunmen attacked the army checkpoint at al-Mahajer area south of Arish late on Thursday evening, before fleeing the scene, the sources said. The wounded were moved to a military hospital in the city.

The attacks were concentrated in North Sinai, epicenter of an insurgency by militants seeking to topple the Cairo government.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But Islamist militants based in Sinai have killed hundreds of soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

On Tuesday, A suicide bomber killed a civilian and wounded 30 policemen when he tried to ram a water tanker into a police barracks in al-Arish, security sources said. In a second assault, a roadside bomb exploded near a security checkpoint in southern Arish, killing one army officer and wounding three others.

Sinai, a largely lawless area bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip, is home to Egypt's most dangerous Islamist group, Sinai Province.

Formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the group has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, the ultra-hardline Sunni group which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Reporting by Yousri Mohamed in Ismailia; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Bernard Orr

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