AT LEAST 13 Egyptian border guards were killed on Sunday in an attack on a checkpoint near the country’s border with Israel, security and medical sources said.

The medical source said gunmen in Bedouin attire drove up in two vehicles and opened fire on the post, killing 13 guards. The security official put the number of dead at 15.

Sunday’s attack was near the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom in Hebrew) border crossing.

Sinai-based Islamist militants are believed to have been responsible for several rocket attacks against Israel, which also blamed them for a cross-border ambush last year that killed nine Israelis.

The militants are also blamed for regular bombings of a pipeline that exports gas to Israel and Jordan.

The Sinai is home to Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, a source of lucrative tourist income, and is also where the country’s Bedouin, who were long marginalised under the regime of fallen strongman Hosni Mubarak, are based.