Ten civilians were killed overnight during fighting between the Egyptian army and Islamist militants in Sinai, near Egypt’s border with Gaza, where the military has launched a crackdown in recent weeks, security and medical sources said on Wednesday.

At least three of the casualties were children and three were women, the medical sources said. The victims were killed in their home by two mortar shells fired by militants during a night-time curfew, security sources said.

The sources said earlier it was possible the victims had been killed in mistaken army air strikes on militants in the area, but later ruled that out. The army spokesman was not immediately available for comment. […]