Unknown attackers killed policemen near monastery in Sinai

Wed, 19.04.2017 12:08

At least one police officer has died after armed men attacked security forces near St Catherine's Monastery in Egypt's southern Sinai, according to the health ministry, just a week after two deadly church bombings killed 45.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack, which targeted a police checkpoint about 800 metres from the entrance to the monastery, one of the world's most important Christian sites.

The attack, which also injured four people, comes just 10 days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt.

Egypt has for years been battling an armed campaign in the rugged and thinly populated northern Sinai, which gained pace after the military overthrew the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Attacks in Egypt's southern Sinai, a popular destination for tourists dotted with Red Sea resorts, are by contrast rare.

Security sources told Reuters news agency that security had been put on high alert at tourist facilities across southern Sinai after Tuesday's attack.

St Catherine's Monastery, founded in the 6th century and located at the foot of Mount Sinai, is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It is part of the Eastern Orthodox church.

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Source: Al Jazeera

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