16 Egyptian soliders were killed Sunday by masked gunmen at the Egypt-Gaza border crossing.
Two others were wounded in an attack at the Rafah border crossing that is believed to be the work of Islamic militants.
Other estimates put the wounded at seven people.
Bloomberg reported that the militants were able to capture an Egyptian armored personnel carrier after killing the soldiers with knives.
The vehicle crashed and exploded into the Kerem Shalom crossing.
Nobody was injured in the explosion.
It was reported that another vehicle was also comandeered but was destroyed by the Israeli airforce as it made its way toward the border.
BBC reported that Israel had found the bodies of the eight militants killed by the airforce.
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According to the Associated Press, the Israeli military said that it had thwarted an attack meant for Israel – possibly to abduct a nearby Israeli border guard.
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the attacks were wake-up call for Egypt to beef up security in the region.
“The militants’ attack methods again raise the need for determined Egyptian action to enforce security and prevent terror in the Sinai” he said, according to the Washington Post.
The attack took place just as Egyptian soldiers were sitting down for iftar – a traditional meal eaten during Ramadan after the sun sets.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called for an emergency meeting with the military after the attacks.
The Associated Press reported that the attack was the bloodiest in the Sinai for years and may represent a growing lawlessness in the country post-revolution.
Although the incident is being blamed on Islamic militants, Al Ahram said that nobody has yet to take responsibility for the attacks.