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May 25, 10:26 AM EDT

Egypt officials say Sinai militants kill 4 security forces

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EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) -- Egyptian security officials say separate attacks in restive northern Sinai peninsula where Islamic militants are active have left four security personnel dead.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media, say the first attack took place in the town of el-Arish when militants opened fire on an off-duty policeman.

They said three conscripts in an armored vehicle were killed later in a roadside bomb explosion in the border town of Rafah.

Egypt has in recent years been battling a stepped-up insurgency in northern Sinai, mainly by militants from an Islamic State group affiliate. The militant campaign accelerated after the military ouster of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

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