Six peacekeepers, including , were injured by improvised explosive devices in Egypt’s northeast Sinai, the U.S. Department of Defense announced.
The soldiers were part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), an international coalition whose mission is keeping the peace between Egypt and Israel. The Sinai region has become a haven for Islamist militant groups, and there are concerns over the safety of the MFO, a force not organized for combat. The United States has supplied troops to the 12-member coalition since 1982.
All the victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The two international troops struck an explosive device as they drove a vehicle. The four U.S. soldiers, responding to the incident, were then attacked with secondary explosive device, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Roger M. Cabiness II said. The attacks occurred Thursday.
The Army unit currently serving there is 1st Battalion, 112th Cavalry Regiment, known as Task Force Stallion, from the Texas Army National Guard.
“We are considering what, if any, additional measures might be needed to ensure force protection. This includes bringing in additional equipment if necessary,” Cabiness said.
The Pentagon did not specify the names nor services of the U.S. casualties, but MFO troops are generally drawn from soldiers and National Guardsmen from the Task Force Sinai unit of the U.S. Army.
“The safety and security of U.S. forces remains our top priority, and we are committed to taking necessary steps for their protection” said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, director of press operations for the Defense Department, in a statement. Davis continued to say, “The United States continues to support the role of the Multinational Force and Observers in supporting the Treaty of Peace between Israel and Egypt.”