Attack on Egyptian border post near Libya kills 21 soldiers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 4:51am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 July, 2014, 4:51am


Egypt's military said militants firing machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) attacked a border guards' checkpoint, killing 21 soldiers.

Saturday's attack in a desert area 630km west of Cairo left four soldiers wounded, the military said in a statement, blaming "terrorists". It said an RPG fired by the militants set off an explosion in an ammunition depot at the post near Libya, killing the soldiers.

Militants have stepped up attacks on the security forces since president Mohammed Mursi was toppled in July last year as the army struggles to quell an Islamist insurgency that has killed scores of soldiers and police, mainly in the Sinai peninsula bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

The military statement said two vehicles booby-trapped to blow up were used in the attack, and bomb experts defused the explosives.

The state Middle East News Agency (MENA) said three of the assailants were killed in the clash, the second at the same checkpoint in less than three months.