By Hussein Mahmoud
CAIRO (AA) – Five Egyptian army conscripts were killed and another five injured on Tuesday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb south of the Sheikh Zuweid area of the northern Sinai Peninsula, according to state-run daily Akhbar al-Youm.
The newspaper quoted informed sources as saying that the incident had occurred while an army vehicle was passing through Sheikh Zuweid’s Al-Kharrouba district while carrying out an "anti-terrorism operation".
The injured were taken to a nearby military hospital for treatment, the sources added.
In a related development, Egyptian Army spokesman Mohamed Samir announced via Facebook late Monday that 16 "armed terrorist elements" had been killed by security forces in northern Sinai.
Since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup, the northern Sinai Peninsula -- which shares borders with both Israel and the blockaded Gaza Strip -- has become the epicenter of a deadly insurgency against security personnel.
Morsi, a leader of Egypt’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and the country’s first freely elected president, served in office for only one year before being ousted and imprisoned by Egypt’s formidable military establishment.