Suspected Islamic State militants in Egypt’s turbulent Sinai Peninsula ambushed a taxi in which off-duty policemen were traveling back to their units on Saturday, killing five of them before fleeing, according to security and medical officials.

They said the incident took place just south of the coastal Sinai city of el-Arish.

The soldiers were returning to duty from home leave.

Earlier on Saturday, a roadside bomb planted by suspected IS militants hit a police armored personnel carrier in northern Sinai, wounding nine policemen inside, the local police headquarters said in a statement. One of the nine later died of his wounds in hospital.

A statement by the local police headquarters said the attack took place just outside the border town of Rafah.

The attacks are the latest in a war of attrition waged by militants led by the Islamic State’s affiliate in Sinai, where security forces have battled insurgents for years. The insurgency by the militants in Sinai grew more intense after the 2013 ouster of elected president, Mohammed Morsi, who is an Islamist.

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