By Diyar Guldogan
Turkey Saturday strongly condemned Friday's attack on an army checkpoint in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that left 12 dead and eight injured.
"We strongly condemn the terrorist attack which was perpetrated near Bir al-Abd. We extend our condolences to the brotherly Egyptian people, convey our sympathies to their families, and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
According to local media reports, the attack targeted an army checkpoint in the peninsula’s northeast some 40 kilometers from the town of Bir al-Abd.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
Since mid-2013, when Mohamed Morsi – Egypt’s first freely elected president – was ousted in a military coup, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel have been killed in Sinai amid an ongoing militant insurgency.
Egyptian security forces have continued to wage a fierce campaign, involving elements from both the police and army, against what they describe as Sinai-based "terrorist groups".
Egypt’s army-backed authorities say they are battling the "Welayat Sinai" ("Province of Sinai"), which is said to have links to the Daesh terrorist group.