December 19, 2017 / 4:51 PM / 9 months ago

Egypt air base attack kills officer in North Sinai: military statement

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian military officer was killed and two other people were wounded in a shell attack on a military airport near the town of Arish in the North Sinai region on Tuesday, the army spokesman said in a statement on Facebook.

It said the attack took place during a visit of Egypt’s interior and defense ministers to the area.

A security source said neither minister had been hurt during the attack.

Those wounded were an officer and a soldier, a second security source said.

The statement also said a helicopter had been damaged during the attack, and that security forces had “dealt with the source of fire”, without elaborating.

The Egyptian military is battling a years-long Islamist insurgency in North Sinai that has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen.

Attacks claimed by Islamic State’s Sinai branch have expanded to include civilian targets in the past year.

The group is widely believed to have carried out an attack on a mosque last month, the deadliest in Egypt’s modern history, which killed more than 300 people according to state media. However Islamic State did not claim that attack.

Reporting by Mostafa Hashem and Nadine Awadalla, writing by John Davison; Editing by Gareth Jones

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