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Militants kill five soldiers at checkpoints in Sinai Peninsula

The checkpoints were among the same military installations attacked earlier this month by Islamic State militants.

By Fred Lambert
Militants kill five soldiers at checkpoints in Sinai Peninsula
Egyptian army forces patrol amid debris of houses on the Egyptian side of the border town of Rafah, in the Sinai Peninsula, as seen from the Palestinian side of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 01, 2014. On July 19, 2015, five Egyptian soldiers were killed when militants attacked two checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula. The incident comes two weeks after clashes between Egyptian security forces and Islamic State-affiliated insurgents in the area resulted in more than 100 deaths. File photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

SHEIKH ZUWEID, Egypt, July 19 (UPI) -- Militants killed five soldiers at checkpoints in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, two weeks after battles there with Islamic State forces killed more than 100 people.

The gunmen attacked two checkpoints near the town of Sheikh Zuweid, which, according to the BBC, is in the same network of military installations assaulted two weeks ago by extremists with the IS-affiliated group calling itself Sinai Province.

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Sunday's attack joins a trend of increasing violence in the Sinai Peninsula since former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in 2013.

Reports of Egyptian military casualties in the early-July attacks varied from 17 to 60 killed, while officials say more than 100 of the militants died. The incident prompted a full-scale assault on the peninsula, with Egyptian President Abel-Fatah al-Sisi saying the country was "in a real state of war."

Last week, the Sinai group claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on an Egyptian naval frigate off the Mediterranean coast, as well as a car bomb attack against the Italian consulate in Cairo.

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Last November, Egyptian Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, based in the Sinai Peninsula, pledged loyalty to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an audio message on Twitter before changing its name to Sinai Province.

The group has reportedly killed at least 600 Egyptian soldiers and police officers since Morsi's overthrow two years ago.

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