Egypt: 3 police officers reportedly killed in attack on a police checkpoint in Ismailia

At least four people have been killed and 12 others wounded in an attack on a police checkpoint in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, according to medics and security sources.

The incident took place on Friday when two armed assailants opened fire on a security checkpoint in the northeastern city of Ismailia.

The two gunmen launched the attack from vehicles near the al-Salihin mosque in the residential neighbourhood of al-Salam, local media reported.

One of the assailants was fatally shot by police while the other fled. Egyptian media aired footage of a body it claimed was the slain attacker.

The dead included three police officers and a still unidentified person, a hospital document obtained by The Associated Press news agency showed.

Most of the wounded are conscripts and have been taken to hospital, according to the document.

The attack took place on Friday afternoon on the western side of the Suez Canal, according to security officials, who spoke to Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media.

The media office of Ismailia province described the attack as a “terrorist” strike.

A security source said that it was likely to be a “terrorist attack”. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the shooting in Ismailia, which lies on the west bank of the Suez Canal, reported AFP.

Egypt’s military has been fighting a branch of the Islamic State (IS) group for several years in the Sinai Peninsula.

In February 2018, security forces launched a wide-reaching campaign seeking to root out members of armed groups in the Sinai, parts of the Nile Delta, and deserts along the country’s western border with Libya.

More than 1,000 fighters were reported killed by the military during the campaign, though figures are difficult to verify amid a media blackout in the peninsula.

ISIS local affiliate organization has carried out numerous attacks in Sinai and elsewhere in the country, mainly targeting security forces, minority Christians and those whom they accuse of collaborating with the military and police.

In May, at least 11 Egyptian soldiers, including an officer, were killed in an attack on a water pumping station east of the Suez Canal.

In May 2019, an attack near Egypt’s Giza pyramids wounded 17 people, many of them foreign tourists.

In August of the same year, 20 people were killed when a car laden with explosives crashed into two other vehicles in Cairo.

Ismailia is one of the key cities overlooking Egypt’s Suez Canal, a vital waterway between Asia and Europe that sees about 10 percent of the world’s maritime trade.

The canal is a major source of foreign currency for Egypt, which is struggling with a declining currency and rising inflation.