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Four children were killed on Saturday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula when a mortar round hit their home, in an apparent attack by militants targeting soldiers, security officials said.
The attack took place in the northern Sinai town of El-Joura, believed to be a bastion of Islamist militants who have killed scores of policemen and soldiers over the past year.
Four people were wounded in the blast, the officials said, adding that the children were all under 15 years old.
Soldiers and police had been combing the area a day after militants shot dead two senior army and police officers as they were driving home.
Militant attacks had surged since last year after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and cracked down on his supporters from July 2013.
At least 1,400 people have been killed in the crackdown, mostly Islamist protesters.
The militant attacks usually target security personnel, but they have also led to civilian casualties.
At least seven civilians and a soldier were killed in a rocket attack earlier this month in the north Sinai capital El-Arish, when one rocket misfired and hit a crowded market place.