By Alsayyid Saber
At least nine people, including a police officer, were killed in a roadside bomb blast and shooting in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, according to a local security source.
A police vehicle struck the device south of Arish city in the northern Sinai peninsula before gunmen opened fire on the vehicle, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.
The source said eight civilians, who happened to be nearby, were killed and four others injured in the attack.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack and Egyptian authorities have yet to comment.
Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a deadly militant insurgency since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, was ousted in a military coup.
Since then, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in attacks across the volatile region, especially in northeastern Sinai, which shares borders with both Israel and the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian authorities, for their part, say they are battling the Welayat Sinai ("Province of Sinai") group, which is said to have links with the Daesh terrorist organization.