24 policemen killed in Egypt on Sinai attack

Militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at two buses in the Sinai on Monday killing 24 policemen, as Egypt’s military chief vowed a “forceful” response to violence roiling the Arab world’s most populous nation.

The attack was the deadliest of its kind in years and raises fears of a return to the wave of deadly violence linked to Islamist groups that swept Egypt in the 1990s.

It comes as the country’s army-installed authorities wrestle with a deep political crisis and bloodshed that has left almost 800 people dead in days of clashes between Islamist protesters and security forces in Cairo, Alexandria and other flashpoints.

Among those killed in the latest violence were 36 Islamist detainees who died in police custody overnight, with authorities saying they had suffocated on tear gas fired after they took a police officer hostage.

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