World

Militants launch attacks on Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai, killing at least 30 troops

  • Map locates attacks in Egypt.; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;

    Map locates attacks in Egypt.; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;  (The Associated Press)

  • Ambulances wait in front of the El Arish International hospital because the road to Sheikh Zuweid, where numerous assaults against the army are ongoing, is not safe, in El Arish, north Sinai, Egypt, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Dozens of Islamic militants unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including suicide car bombings, on Egyptian army checkpoints on Wednesday, killing at least 53 soldiers, security and military officials said. The officials said 50 militants were also killed - the deadliest battle in Sinai since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. (AP Photo/Muhamed Sabry)

    Ambulances wait in front of the El Arish International hospital because the road to Sheikh Zuweid, where numerous assaults against the army are ongoing, is not safe, in El Arish, north Sinai, Egypt, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Dozens of Islamic militants unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including suicide car bombings, on Egyptian army checkpoints on Wednesday, killing at least 53 soldiers, security and military officials said. The officials said 50 militants were also killed - the deadliest battle in Sinai since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. (AP Photo/Muhamed Sabry)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Egyptian soldier watches from a post in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula, as seen from the Israel-Egypt border, in Kerem Shalom town, southern Israel, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Islamic militants on Wednesday unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including suicide car bombings, on Egyptian army checkpoints in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, killing tens of soldiers, security and military officials said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    An Egyptian soldier watches from a post in Egypt's northern Sinai Peninsula, as seen from the Israel-Egypt border, in Kerem Shalom town, southern Israel, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Islamic militants on Wednesday unleashed a wave of simultaneous attacks, including suicide car bombings, on Egyptian army checkpoints in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, killing tens of soldiers, security and military officials said. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

Egyptian security and military officials say Islamic militants have staged simultaneous attacks, including a suicide car bombing, on army checkpoints in northern Sinai, killing at least 30 soldiers.

The officials say Wednesday's attack took place just south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid and targeted at least six military checkpoints.

They say the militants also took soldiers captive and seized several armored vehicles. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The attacks come just two days after the assassination in Cairo of the country's top prosecutor. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi vowed on Tuesday to step up a two-year crackdown on militants.

Militants in northern Sinai have battled security forces for years but stepped up their attacks following the July 2013 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.