Seven civilians killed in blast in north Sinai

Seven civilians killed in blast in north Sinai

Seven civilians killed in blast in north Sinai

The explosion happened 200 metres from its military target, "when an Egyptian soldier used a tank to stop the vehicle", according to the army statement yesterday.

The tank managed to drive away and the victims were civilians standing close to the scene.

The military told Reuters that they had stopped the vehicle at a checkpoint and tried to contain an expected blast by running over the auto with a tank.

Panic stricken-civilians can be seen running for cover in the video footage.

The tank spotted the auto (circled) racing towards an army checkpoint in North Sinai and drove head-on to meet them. They added: 'The armed forces reiterates that such terrorist acts only strengthen our determination to continue to eradicate this terrorism in our beloved Sinai from the roots.

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Despite the shielding attempts of the security forces, at least seven people are reported to have died in the incident.

The extremists have threatened to carry out further attacks on Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 90 million people.

The Egyptian Armed Forces killed 40 militants and arrested another five in North Sinai during "Martyr Right" army operations, an armed forces official spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday.

Over the past years, militants have been carrying out anti-government activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil caused in Egypt after the democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military-led coup in July 2013.

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