At least 12 Egyptian soldiers were killed and dozens injured in a car bomb Nov. 20 near the Sinai city of El-Arish, security officials told Ma’an News Agency. A car laden with explosives hit two buses carrying around 100 Egyptian soldiers, the officials said. Egyptian security sources told Ma’an that a Hyundai Verna was parked on the right-hand side of the main road between Rafah and El-Arish, and had signaled that it had broken down. The car was then remotely detonated as four unarmored personnel carriers passed by. Egyptian officials said the militants who detonated the car bomb were being updated by others about the movement of the vehicles, which were loaded at a site in Rafah.
The attack is the deadliest since an Aug. 19 ambush by gunmen on a convoy of security forces killed 25 policemen in the town of Rafah in North Sinai. That attack was the bloodiest in the Sinai Peninsula in several years.
Egyptian armed forces launched large-scale military action against militants in Sinai earlier in September, in what officials described as the largest mobilization of force in the area since the 1973 war with Israel. The crackdown has resulted in more than 1,000 people being killed and more than 2,000 arrested nationwide since mid-August.