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Blast at Egypt army base in insurgent-hit North Sinai kills three officers and four troops

Seven Egyptian soldiers were killed in an explosion at an air defence base in North Sinai on Sunday, The New Arab’s Arabic-language site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be determined, with military and medical sources saying that they’re “unsure” whether it was a terror-related attack or a technical malfunction, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Among the dead were three officers – Air Defence Majors Abdel-Rahman Mahmoud Al-Zuhri Rabie and Diya Alaa El-Din Saad, as well as Air Defence Lieutenant Colonel Hisham Darbaz.

Air Defence recruits Hilmi Younis, Mahmoud Al-Fishawi, Saber Eid, and Nour Al-Sanhouri were also killed.

Their bodies were transferred to Al-Arish Military Hospital and then to their hometowns for burial.

The Egyptian military has yet to make a statement confirming the incident.

The Sinai Peninsula, which shares a land border with Israel, has often been the site of attacks targeting Egyptian security forces stationed there.

Sinai, located in northeastern Egypt, has suffered from an Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda-linked insurgency for over a decade.

It intensified in 2013 following the removal of elected President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup led by current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The attacks are largely confined to the northern part of the peninsula, and have not expanded to its southern region, which is popular with tourists and visitors.

Though there is no official death toll, hundreds of security personnel, civilians, and militants have been killed in similar incidents over the years.

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