At least 26 soldiers have been killed in an attack on an army checkpoint in Egypt’s North Sinai, state media has reported.
The attack on Friday afternoon hit an army checkpoint at Karm al-Qawadeis, southwest of Sheikh Zuweid.
The source said the group attacked as soldiers were on break inside their tents. State media reported that 28 people were wounded, several of whom were in critical condition.
“Most have been seriously injured and not all of them have been taken to hospital yet,” health ministry official Tareq Khater told the AFP news agency.
Army helicopters were sent to transfer the injured to hospitals, the head of North Sinai’s doctors syndicate told the private satellite TV station CBC.
Local media said that the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, ordered a meeting of the government’s national defence council following the blast.
The council is made up of the prime minister, the head of the parliament, the minister of defence and the commanders of the Egyptian armed forces, and is chaired by the president.
The attack is one of the deadliest since Sisi overthrew Mohamed Morsi from the presidency and declared his Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organisation.