Officials: Sinai death toll reaches 11
The armed forces spokesman has said that a suicide attack on soldiers in North Sinai on Wednesday morning killed 11 and injured 37. Seven of the injured are in a critical condition.
Egyptian state TV initially stated that 12 soldiers had been killed and 35 injured in the attack but an official statement by spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali, released on his Facebook page, amended the figures.
The spokesman said that the seven critically wounded soldiers were transported by medically equipped helicopters to a military hospital in North Sinai's capital, Al-Arish, and to Cairo's Maadi military hospital.
Ali stated that the explosion happened when a bomb-laden car drove into an army convoy carrying the off-duty soldiers on the road between Al-Arish and Rafah.
The soldiers were about to begin their vacation.
State agency MENA had originally quoted a security source as saying that a parked car exploded.
Troops and Apache helicopters have been combing the area for the perpetrators.
The attack is the bloodiest since mid-August when gunmen killed 25 police conscripts in an ambush on a security convoy in Rafah.
The restive peninsula, already suffering a security vacuum since the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, has seen a spike in militant activity since Mohamed Morsi's ouster. Attacks on security and army targets in the Sinai region have killed over 100 since July.
Dozens of militants have been killed since the army began a campaign to flush out "terrorists" and seize or destroy arms caches in the Sinai region.