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Suicide Bombing Shakes Sinai Amid Security Crackdown

North Sinai is witnessing a breakdown of law and order amid violence and bombings.
The caskets of 25 policemen killed early Monday morning near the north Sinai town of Rafah are carried after arriving at Almaza military airport in Cairo August 19, 2013. The 25 Egyptian policemen were killed and three others wounded in an ambush by Islamist militants, medical and security sources said. Attacks by Islamist militants in the lawless north Sinai region have intensified since the army overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVI

North Sinai — As hundreds of people jammed the weekly Tuesday market in the middle of volatile Sheikh Zuwayed, several men armed with high-caliber machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades took up positions in houses with strategic views of the town's infamous police compound. They then proceeded to barrage the heavily guarded building with rockets and bullets, setting their crosshairs on Egyptian security personnel ducking behind sandbags on the rooftop.

As the security forces exchanged fire with the attackers on the town's main boulevard, a vehicle loaded with explosives raced across the main square and into the massive, steel front gate of the compound. A deafening explosion destroyed the gate, an armored vehicle stationed behind it and parts of the compound wall. The widows of dozens of neighboring houses shattered, and the fronts of some 30 shops lining the opposite side of the street were destroyed along with part of the mosque beside the compound. Miraculously, only four bystanders were injured. 

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