• Egyptian president has declared a three-month state of emergency in Sinai after 30 people were killed.
•The president also announced a three-day national mourning starting Saturday.
• No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide car bombing attack.
CAIRO,Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has declared a three-month state of emergency in parts of northern Sinai Peninsula after at least 30 people were killed in an attack against a military checkpoint.
The measure would take effect at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) Saturday, the presidency said Friday night in a statement following an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.
The president also announced a three-day national mourning starting Saturday, and ordered a curfew between 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) Friday and 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) Saturday in areas near Egypt’s borders with Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“The army and the police will take all necessary measures to tackle the dangers of terrorism, to preserve the security of the region and protect the lives of civilians,” according to a statement issued after the meeting.
The Rafah crossing, the Gaza Strip’s only non-Israeli access to the outside world, has been closed, the state-run Nile TV reported.
No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide car bombing attack, one of the deadliest single attacks against the armed forces in Egypt. The attack also left 28 people wounded.
Security officials told Xinhua that the death toll was expected to increase because some of the injured soldiers were in severe condition.
State TV channels have marked the top left corner of its screen with a black line as a sign of mourning.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Egypt.
“The secretary-general extends his deep condolences to the families of the victims and the government of Egypt, and hopes for the quick and full recovery of the wounded,” said a statement issued by Ban’s spokesman.
This week saw several terrorist attacks. A bomb went off outside Cairo University on Wednesday, leaving at least 10 people injured. On Sunday, seven soldiers were killed and four others injured in an explosion that hit their vehicle in Arish city in northern Sinai.
Assaults on security personnel and premises have been growing since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi by the military in July 2013 and the following massive crackdown on his supporters, which left about 1,000 of them killed and thousands more arrested.
The attacks were based in the Sinai Peninsula and have crept into the capital Cairo and other provinces across the country.
Extremist groups Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (Champions of Jerusalem) and Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) have claimed responsibility for most of similar attacks over the past year.
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