Egypt militants attack Sinai security headquarters
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
People watch as smoke rises from the burning remains of a building and vehicle after a firefight between Egyptian security forces and suspected militants at the al-Goura settlement in Egypt's north Sinai region, about 15 km (10 miles) from the border with Israel, August 12, 2012. REUTERS photoMilitants attacked a security building in Egypt's Sinai on Sunday sparking clashes, while three policemen were wounded in separate fighting in the area, security officials told AFP.
The clashes erupted as armed men belonging to Islamic militant groups attacked the North Sinai security headquarters in the town of Al-Arish at dawn using rocket propelled grenades and automatic rifles, one official said.
"They positioned themselves on the roofs of buildings opposite the security headquarters and launched the RPGs," the official said.
"The clashes between security forces and the militants are continuing around the building," he said.
In a separate incident, fighting between militants and security forces in the town of Sheikh Zuwayyid near the border with the Gaza Strip left three policemen wounded, another official said.
Egyptian security forces launched a campaign to crush increasingly brazen Islamist militants in the restive peninsula after an attack on an army outpost killed 16 soldiers on August 5.
The government always struggled with militancy and smuggling in the region but it lost its grip after an uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak early last year, prompting the collapse of his discredited police force and allowing the militants to flourish.
Earlier this month, the army said its forces had killed 32 "criminal elements" in the ongoing Operation Sinai which was launched days after the border post attack.