Two Egyptians killed in drive-by shooting

Cairo: Two Egyptian civilians were killed when gunmen opened fire at the car of a police officer in Al-Arish, the local capital of Egypt’s restive North Sinai province, media reported Saturday.

The slain men were with the police officer when the gunmen opened fire at his car, Xinhua reported citing the official news agency MENA, adding the policeman escaped unscathed.

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Also in Sinai, unidentified gunmen and security forces exchanged fire when the attackers on two vehicles opened fire at a police checkpoint near Al-Arish.

MENA said no casualties have been reported.

No group has claimed responsibility for the two attacks.

Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the army last July, a number of explosions have targeted policemen and troops in the Sinai peninsula, and lately some attacks have targeted Cairo and Nile Delta cities.

A recent official report said the death toll from such attacks reached nearly 500, most of them soldiers and policemen.

The army has launched a large-scale operation since Morsi’s removal to uproot criminal hideouts in the restive Sinai. The Al Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.