CAIRO-Vehicles packed with explosives blew up at military checkpoints in Egypt's northeastern Sinai on Friday in deadly, apparently orchestrated, attacks that could intensify criticism of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.
In a statement released on Friday afternoon, Qassemi offered his sympathies to the Egyptian people and the bereaved families of the victims of the terrorist attack that led to the killing of at least ten Egyptian soldiers.
As the attack unfolded, ambulances were heard rushing to the site. Then dozens of militants then arrived in 4x4 vehicles and fired machine-guns at the soldiers for about 30 minutes before fleeing the scene, the officials added. The force at the compound is estimated at 60 troops.
This as the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has been suffering major setbacks inflicted by government and pro-government forces in Iraq and Syria, where the militant group first took territory and gained notoriety.
A local security source told Anadolu Agency earlier that a senior army officer and nine army conscripts had been killed in the auto bomb attack. He didn't prove a breakdown.
Security officials who requested anonymity said at least seven soldiers were killed, but it was not immediately possible to obtain an official death toll. Witnesses said they saw Apache helicopters carrying out airstrikes across Rafah after the attack. It also posted photographs of five alleged assailants dressed in uniforms.
Egypts North Sinai has witnessed many terrorists attacks since the January 2011 revolution that toppled the ex- president Hosni Mubarak.
The attack comes as militant attacks have increasingly shifted beyond the Sinai deep into Egypt's heartland, often targeting minority Coptic Christians.
Though the IS affiliate has not managed to seize territory in Sinai it has a strong presence in the western and southern area of Rafah in the peninsula, on the outskirts of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, and inside the residential area of Sinai's largest city, el-Arish.