Several dead, others hurt in attacks in Israel - World news - Mideast/N. Africa - msnbc.com JERUSALEM Assailants armed with heavy weapons, guns and explosives launched three attacks in quick succession in southern Israel near the border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, killing at least five people and wounding about a dozen more, officials said. The rare violence in that part of the country targeted a passenger bus, a military patrol and a private car, officials said. Channel 10 TV reported a fourth attack by gunmen, but there was no official confirmation or details. The military said a "large number" of assailants were working in multiple squads. Israeli ambulance services said five people had been killed in the attack, The Associated Press reported, although Reuters reported six deaths. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy. "Terrorists fired at a bus on its way to (the city of) Eilat and fired an anti-tank rocket at another vehicle," Israel's military said in a statement according to Reuters. "At the same time, a military patrol hit an explosive device." Israel's Haaretz newspaper said that mortars were also fired from the nearby Egyptian border. Fears coming from Egypt The attacks will likely fuel concerns that Egyptian security forces are losing control of the Sinai desert region bordering Israel following the ouster of Egypt's longtime autocratic leader, Hosni Mubarak, earlier this year. Israeli officials have voiced concern that militant groups in the Sinai have been making use of a security vacuum left by the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February. Egypt, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, recently stepped up security activity in the Sinai desert, which borders the Jewish state and the Gaza Strip. Egyptian security sources said on Tuesday that an army crackdown on armed groups in the northern Sinai had netted four Islamist militants as they prepared to blow up a gas pipeline. Now aren't we glad we got rid of Mubarak. This is just the beginning.