Egyptian officials say gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint near the famed Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, killing one policeman and wounding four.
Security and medical officials say the policemen were manning the checkpoint outside the monastery in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula when the attack took place on Tuesday night.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. The militants opened fire from an elevated hilltop overlooking the police checkpoint just outside the monastery, which is located in a remote desert and mountainous area in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, according to a statement by the Interior Ministry.
After an exchange of gunfire, the attackers fled the scene, the ministry said, adding that some of the gunmen were wounded in the shootout, Ynetnews.com reports.
According to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks online activity of militants, the ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency announced that the group’s militants carried out the attack near Saint Catherine.
This is the first time the ISIS has attacked a monastery.
Earlier this month suicide bombers attacked two churches in the Nile Delta city of Tanta and the coastal city of Alexandria, killing 45 people on Palm Sunday.
The monastery attack comes shortly before a planned visit by Pope Francis to Egypt next week.