Daesh claimed responsibility for deadly car bomb attacks and assault on military checkpoints in Egypt's North Sinai on Friday that killed 23 soldiers and injured 26 others, the group said.
In a statement, Daesh said it targeted the compound because the military was preparing to launch operations against the group from there.
Security sources described Friday's attack as a coordinated strike, with car bombs blowing apart checkpoints as gunmen in four-wheel drive vehicles shot down soldiers running for cover.
— Department of State (@StateDept) July 7, 2017
Our deepest condolences following the attack on soldiers in North Sinai today. We stand with Egypt against such despicable acts of terrorism
— Canada in Egypt (@CanEmbEgypt) July 7, 2017
The military carried out a counter-attack almost immediately after, deploying fighter jets to kill over 40 militants suspected of involvement and destroying six of their vehicles, according to a video released by the military showing aerial footage of air strikes.
The military posted photos of five dead militants in blood-soaked fatigues lying in the sand. It did not name their affiliation.
"Law enforcement forces in North Sinai succeeded in thwarting a terrorist attack on some checkpoints south of Rafah," a military statement said.
Most severe assault
The attack is the most severe in Sinai since at least July 2015, when Daesh militants assaulted simultaneously a slew of checkpoints and military sites around North Sinai, killing at least 17 soldiers.
Friday's bombings present a challenge for general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al Sisi, who describes himself as a bulwark against extremism in a region beset by violence and war.