At least 25 police officers and a police general were killed Monday in Egypt's North Sinai governorate, while three other officers were wounded, police spokesmen told Efe.

Six armed men fired mortar rounds at two microbuses carrying nearly 30 officers on the highway that links the city of Rafah to el-Arish, the capital of North Sinai.

The mortar rounds missed the buses, but the gunmen forced the officers to get out of the vehicles and killed 24 of them, el-Arish police spokesmen said.

A sniper, meanwhile, killed a police general as he was getting into an armored vehicle in el-Arish, the official Mena news agency reported.

Gen. Ahmed Galal was getting a firsthand look at the security situation in the city when he was killed by the sniper, Mena said.

Gunmen also attacked a bank branch and the military prosecutor's office in el-Arish, killing a police officer, the news agency said.

Egypt has been locked in a spiral of bloodshed since the security forces moved last Wednesday to break up the sit-in protests staged in Cairo by supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi.

Morsi's supporters have held protests in Cairo since his ouster by the armed forces in a July 3 coup, which followed days of massive anti-government protests.

Critics accused Morsi and the Brotherhood of doing little to address poverty and Egypt's struggling economy, of failing to advance the goals of the 2011 revolution that forced out strongman Hosni Mubarak and of seeking to monopolize power. EFE