El-Arish - Suspected Islamic militants on Monday set off a
roadside bomb in the Sinai Peninsula as a bus full of police conscripts was
driving by, wounding nine of them, security officials said.
The blast on the outskirts of the coastal city of el-Arish
in northern Sinai came amid a major counterinsurgency operation by Egypt's
military and police in the lawless desert region.
The offensive followed a surge of attacks by insurgents
triggered by the army's 3 July overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi
and subsequent violence.
The worst insurgent attack in Sinai during that period took
place on 19 August when militants pulled 25 police conscripts off minibuses and
shot them dead on the side of the road.
The bus bombed Monday was traveling from the border town of
Rafah to el-Arish escorted by an armoured police car. The bomb was set off by
remote control, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because
they were not authorised to speak to the media.