At least three people were killed and 17 wounded early on Monday in Egypt's North Sinai province when suspected militants used rocket-propelled grenades to attack a bus carrying workers employed at a cement factory, security and medical sources said.
They said the bus was fired on in the city of El Arish, at the center of a sharp rise in Islamist terrorist attacks in the lawless region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip since Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military on July 3.
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According to eye witnesses, the attackers shouted "Allahu Akbar!" (God is greatest) after the bus was hit.
An Egyptian army spokesman said the target was a security forces vehicle and that the gunmen accidentally fired at the bus.
Egyptian soldiers near Israeli border, earlier this month (Photo: AFP)
Several hours later it was reported that a man was killed when a car exploded near an Egyptian army post adjacent to the Israeli border. A military source told Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper that the victim is a member of a terror cell who was laying explosives near the post.
On Sunday, gunfire erupted in Israel-Egypt border, in the northern area of Kadesh-Barnea.
An IDF outlook identified the cell moving in a car along the Egyptian side of the border. As a result of the clashes, the IDF has bolstered forces in the region. No injuries were reported on the Israeli side.
Hardline Islamist groups based in North Sinai have intensified attacks on police and soldiers over the past two years, exploiting a security and political vacuum following the 2011 uprising that ousted autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.
The violence has spiked again since Morsi's overthrow, and terrorists have attacked security checkpoints and other targets on an almost daily basis, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens.
Meanwhile, Egyptian prosecutors have began formally questioning the ousted President, Mohamed Morsi, on suspicion of treason, a crime punishable by death, Britain's The Times reported. The report could not be confirmed.
This is apparently part of an investigation into allegations that Morsi escaped from prison during the 2011 revolution. Prosecutors will also investigate whether terrorist groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah aided Morsi in his escape.
The probe is based on complaints of spying, incitement to violence and ruining the economy leveled against the deposed president.
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