11 Egyptian soldiers killed in militant attack near Suez Canal

At least 11 Egyptian soldiers were killed and five others injured on Saturday when militants attacked a water pumping station east of the Suez Canal.

An officer was among the dead. The attack was one of the deadliest against Egyptian security forces in years.

Troops were pursuing the militants in a remote area in the northern Sinai Peninsula, the army said in a statement.

Authorities did not say exactly where the attack took place, but two North Sinai residents told The Associated Press it was in the town of Qantara in Ismailia province, which extends eastward from the Suez Canal.

The militants ambushed troops guarding the pumping facility, before fleeing into the North Sinai desert, according to locals who spoke on condition of anonymity for their safety.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, Arab News reported. Egypt has been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in the Sinai since 2013, with dozens of attacks in an area where few outside observers are allowed. The attacks largely target Christians, the outlet said.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi mourned the deaths of troops, vowing in a Facebook post to continue fighting militants and “rooting out terrorism”.

With post wires

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