Cairo - Egyptian military helicopters on Friday carried out
air strikes on Islamist militant positions in Sinai, two days after suicide
bombers killed six soldiers in the restive peninsula, security sources said.
Apache helicopters targeted hideouts and vehicles used by
the militants near the town of Sheikh Zuwayid in northern Sinai, the sources
On Wednesday, two car bombs targeting the military
intelligence headquarters in the town of Rafah and a nearby checkpoint killed
six soldiers and the two militants who drove the vehicles.
A little known jihadist group in Sinai claimed
responsibility for the attacks in the town bordering the Gaza Strip.
Jund al-Islam, or Islam's Soldiers in English, made the
claim in a statement posted on militant Islamist forums.
The group accused the Egyptian military of targeting
"unarmed Muslims" in its campaign to quell an Islamist militant
insurgency in north Sinai.
The military has poured troops and armour into Sinai to
crush the insurgency which surged after the army overthrew Egypt's Islamist
president Mohammed Morsi on 3 July.
A subsequent crackdown on Islamists left hundreds killed and
more than 2 000 arrested across the country.