Egypt intelligence HQ bombed

CAIRO - A car bomb has hit Egypt's intelligence headquarters in the Sinai peninsula, killing four people, state TV says.

More than 10 people were wounded in the attack on the building in Rafah, on Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip.

The bombing came after at least nine Islamist militants were killed in a major military offensive in Sinai.

Sinai has seen a sharp increase in militant attacks since the army deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in early July.

Eyewitnesses said a powerful explosion shattered the windows of other buildings in the Imam Ali area in Rafah, where the military building is located.

Shortly afterwards, a second blast hit an army checkpoint nearby, the AFP news agency reported. It is unclear whether anyone was hurt.

The attacks follows a military campaign in Sinai targeting suspected militant outposts near the towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweyid.

On 7 September, army helicopters carried out air strikes aimed at destroying weapons caches, vehicles and hideouts, in what was said to be the biggest operation of its kind in recent years in the area.

The army has accused Mr Morsi of being too lenient toward militant activity in the region, after he released Islamists from prison and vetoed military operations in Sinai.

Analysts say the army's crackdown down on Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood is adding impetus to militants in the northern desert.

Military deployments in the peninsula are subject to the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

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