Roadside bomb kills 2 Egyptian soldiers, wounds 5 in restive Sinai

A roadside bomb struck an Egyptian military vehicle in the restive northern Sinai on Monday, killing an officer and a conscript and wounding five soldiers, security officials said.

The officials said the explosion took place in the Taweel al-Amir area south of Rafah and that the injured were taken to the military hospital in el-Arish.

In a separate incident, gunmen open fired on a police patrol in the Nile Delta province of Beheira, wounding five policemen, local security officials and Egyptian state-run media said.

Egypt has been battling an Islamic insurgency in northern Sinai for years, but attacks mainly targeting the army and police escalated and spread to the mainland after the July 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. An Islamic State affiliate based in Sinai has claimed a series of large-scale assaults there.

In the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, a court meanwhile issued tentative death sentences to nine people and sentenced 14 others to life in prison on charges of killing a police officer guarding a judge last year, judicial officials said. Under Egyptian law, the country's top Muslim cleric issues a non-binding opinion on any death sentence before it can be carried out. The verdict can be appealed.

The police officer was guarding one of the judges overseeing one of a number of cases against Morsi, who was detained after being overthrown. The prosecution said the judge was the target of the attack. 

All the officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to brief reporters.