20 killed in militant attacks in Egypt's Sinai

Cairo: At least 20 people have been killed and 36 others injured in Egypt's restive Sinai as militants fired rockets and set off a car bomb.

The attacks yesterday targeted the police headquarters of North Sinai in the provincial capital of El-Arish, a military unit and a residential area housing army and police officers. "The victims included soldiers and civilians," a Health Ministry official was quoted as saying by the Egyptian TV.

"At least three missile shells and a car bomb were used in separate attacks," a source said. Last week, the curfew in parts of North Sinai was extended for another three months. The curfew was initially imposed on October 25, following the death of 31 army personnel who were killed in a car bomb attack.

Following the attack, the government decided to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip. Egypt's Sinai has witnessed many violent attacks by militants since the January 2011 revolution that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak. The attacks targeting police and military increased after the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Over 500 security personnel have been reported killed since then. The military has launched security campaigns in the area, arrested suspects and demolished houses that belong to terrorists, including those facilitating tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip.

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