Egyptian security forces took control of a southern town besieged by supporters of the former president, Mohammed Morsi, as suspected militants struck at police in Sinai with a blast that wounded nine people.
Military troops and police secured the entrances to Dalga, a town of more than 100,000 people, gaining control of a police station that had been torched along with churches following Mr Morsi’s July 3 removal.
The operation marked the latest offensive by security forces to curb what officials say is rising militancy since the Islamist president was pushed from office. It came as a blast struck a bus carrying police conscripts in north Sinai, injuring eight of them and a civilian.
The violence is just one of the many challenges facing the government headed by the president, Adly Mansour, which is to oversee the drafting of an amended constitution and new elections by early next year. The presidency cited the security situation last week when it extended a state of emergency, in place since mid-August, for two months. The measures include a curfew that has gradually been eased.
Footage shown on the independent CBC satellite channel showed several armoured personnel carriers belonging to the military and police in Dalga. Roads to neighbouring villages had been closed and a curfew imposed. Security forces arrested 56 people involved in attacking police and religious facilities in the town, the interior ministry said.