ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) - A sniper shot dead an Egyptian soldier in the Sinai Peninsula, security sources said on Sunday, a region where al Qaeda-linked fighters have stepped up attacks on security forces since the army deposed elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi on July 3.
The soldier was killed late on Saturday while on guard at a security checkpoint in the town of al Qusayma, the sources said.
On Saturday morning another Egyptian soldier was shot dead in the Sinai and militants released a video showing attacks against the army in the area, which is close to Israel and the Gaza strip.
An army spokesman said on September 15 that more than 100 members of the security forces had been killed in Sinai since Mursi’s downfall.
The militants expanded into a security vacuum left by the 2011 downfall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Since Mursi was ousted, they have mounted almost daily attacks.
One of the groups operating in the Sinai, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for a September 5 suicide bomb attack in Cairo that was meant to assassinate Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim. He survived unscathed.
Ibrahim said on Sunday in an interview in newspaper al-Youm al-Sabi’i that security forces in the Sinai had focused on targeting militant training camps and storage facilities for light and heavy weapons and explosives.
“These operations succeeded in capturing a large number of weapons and communications equipment and vision technology,” he said.
Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Louise Ireland