The death toll from an attack on a border guards’ checkpoint in western Egypt has increased to at least 31 soldiers, according to an Egyptian military official.
On Saturday, Egyptian officials said gunmen opened fire at the security checkpoint in the desert governorate of Wadi el-Gedid, killing 31 soldiers.
Five soldiers were also injured in the attack, officials said, adding the attackers were killed in ensuing clashes.
The attackers, armed with rocket-propelled grenades, took the soldiers by surprise, a military source told the state-run news agency MENA.
The attack, reportedly took place at the time of Iftar (breaking the fast meal in Ramadan), resembling an earlier attack in August 2012 in which 16 soldiers were killed by militants in Sinai.
The Egyptian government today declared three days of mourning in memory of the fallen soldiers.
Yesterday’s attack is the biggest such single act of violence against army or police since last August when 25 police conscripts were killed near Sinai’s Rafah.
Militant attacks targeting police and military have been commonplace since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the army last summer amid mass protests against his year-long rule.