Egypt military police are seen in Cairo. Six other officers were injured in Monday's accident
Egyptian military police are seen in Cairo in June. Eighteen Egyptian policemen were killed in an accident on Monday after their driver lost control of their truck in the Sinai, where security forces are battling Islamist militants, state media reported. © Khaled Desouki - AFP/File
Egypt military police are seen in Cairo. Six other officers were injured in Monday's accident
AFP
Last updated: October 8, 2012

Road accident killed 19 policemen in Egypt

Twenty-one Egyptian policemen were killed in a road accident Monday as their driver lost control of their truck in the Sinai, where security forces are battling Islamist militants, the interior ministry said.

Twenty-four policemen were injured in the accident near the border with Israel, it added in a statement.

The dead and injured conscripts belonged to the interior ministry's Central Security Forces, which along with the army has been battling Islamist militants behind a series of deadly attacks in the lawless peninsula.

In a separate incident, a policeman and a gunman were killed in a gunfight in the northern Sinai town of El-Arish during a foiled attempt to rob a postal vehicle carrying money, security officials said.

They said the firefight was unrelated to militant attacks in the region that have targeted police and soldiers, including a brazen August 5 ambush on an army outpost that killed 16 soldiers.

The sparsely inhabited peninsula is home to the country's most lucrative beach resorts along the Red Sea, but has also become a hub for Islamist militants, drug traffickers and smugglers.

The military launched an unprecedented operation involving tanks and helicopters to quell the militants after the August 5 attack, which also led to the sacking of top military generals and the head of intelligence.

Security in the desert and mountainous region had collapsed after a January-February 2011 uprising that forced president Hosni Mubarak to step down.

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