Six people were wounded on Saturday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula when officers fired on two suicide car bombs as they came near a police station, officials said.
Egypt is fighting Islamist insurgents who have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since the army ousted moderate elected Islamist president Mohammad Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
The two cars exploded when security forces fired at them after their drivers refused to stop near a police station in the Northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, security sources said.
The attack occurred in the town of Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai where security forces are battling an Islamist insurgency.
The bombings came after a deadly militant assault last month killed 30 soldiers in North Sinai.
“The two cars were driven by suicide bombers who wanted to blow up the Sheikh Zuweid police station,” a security official said describing Saturday’s attack, Agence France-Presse reported.
“Security forces fired at the cars as they approached the police station. The vehicles exploded, killing the two suicide bombers.”
Two other cars that were carrying gunmen and were following the suicide bombers fled the scene, however, the official said, adding that security forces were searching for them.
Those wounded in the attack included a police officer, a policeman and four civilians, officials and medics said.
Militants have regularly launched spectacular attacks against security forces in the Sinai Peninsula where the army has poured troops and armor to fight the insurgency.
While most of the worst attacks have hit Sinai, a remote but strategic region bordering Gaza, Israel and Egypt’s Suez Canal, smaller blasts and attacks have become increasingly common in Cairo and other cities.
Thirty soldiers died on January 29 in near simultaneous attacks in North Sinai, the deadliest of them was in the provincial capital of El-Arish when militants fired rockets and set off a suicide car bomb targeting a military base.
A similar attack launched on October 24 also near El-Arish killed 30 soldiers, after which authorities imposed a state of emergency and curfew in parts of North Sinai.
Since the October attack security forces have also built a buffer zone in the town of Rafah bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip to prevent militants from entering the peninsula.