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Two Egyptian policemen shot dead by ISIS in Sinai

El-Arish is a stronghold of the Egyptian affiliate of ISIS that calls itself "Sinai Province"

Published: Updated:

Two Egyptian policemen have been shot dead in the bastion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in the Sinai Peninsula, the interior ministry said, in an attack claimed by the militants Sunday.

"A police captain and a policeman died of their wounds after unknown assailants shot them" late Saturday in the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish, the ministry said in a statement.

The area is a stronghold of the Egyptian affiliate of the ISIS group that calls itself "Sinai Province".

The group claimed the killings on a Twitter account affiliated to it, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

Sinai Province said it killed the two policemen in separate attacks in El-Arish, the monitoring group said.

The militants have stepped up attacks which they say are in retaliation for a bloody crackdown on supporters of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi following his overthrow by the army in 2013.

Militants loyal to ISIS have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and policemen, mostly in the northern Sinai.

The army also regularly announces the death or capture of militnats although its figures cannot be independently verified.