Girl killed in Sinai rocket attack

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iol pic afr egypt attack-sinai AFP Egyptian police inspect the site of a blast in El-Arish, in the Sinai region.

Cairo -

A nine-year-old girl was killed on Monday when a rocket hit the ground outside a house in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, in an apparent attack targeting soldiers, security officials said.

Another girl, 10, was wounded in the blast, south of the town of Sheikh Zuwaid in northern Sinai.

The rocket was apparently targeting a security patrol that was passing through the area, security officials said.

Soldiers and police have been combing the area and the military says it has killed dozens of militants in north Sinai in several operations last week.

On Monday, seven militants were killed in north Sinai, including three who were shot dead by security forces, the army said.

It did not say how the other four militants were killed but said they were killed when they had gone to attack a resident in the border town of Rafah.

Five other militants were wounded in the Rafah incident.

Militant attacks have surged since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and cracked down on his supporters from July 2013.

At least 1 400 people have been killed in the crackdown, mostly Islamist supporters of Morsi.

The militant attacks usually target security forces, but they have also led to civilian casualties.

Four children were killed on Saturday in the northern Sinai town of El-Joura, believed to be a bastion of militants who have killed scores of police and soldiers over the past year.

At least seven civilians and a soldier were also killed in a rocket attack earlier this month in the north Sinai capital El-Arish, when one rocket misfired and hit a crowded market place.

The military has poured armour and soldiers into the desert region to quell the militants, who have also struck the capital and other mainland cities using car bombs.

Although militant attacks have decreased over the past few months, restoring complete security to Sinai, which also borders Israel and the Gaza Strip, has so far eluded the military. - Sapa-AFP

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