Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Egyptian army kills 16 militants in Sinai operation

Egyptian Forces. AFP file Egyptian Forces. AFP file
Ellis Copeland | 11 February, 2018, 13:31

Tamer al-Refaei was quoted by Efe on Friday saying that the Egyptian army was intensifying its war in northern Sinai, which it had been fighting since 2014 against terror organisations including a subsidiary of the Islamic State, and over which the authorities have imposed a total media blackout.

Sixteen militants were killed and four arrested in a major security operation launched by Egypt, the military said on Sunday, the first casualties in a campaign aimed at crushing insurgents behind a string of attacks.

12 IED planted at places where the forces would pass were discovered and 11 four-wheel vehicles and 31 motorbikes were also destroyed.

A video message released on Saturday said that the Egyptian Air Forces executed a number of airstrikes against militants' stationing points in North and Central Sinai.

The operation has been conducted by the second and the third field armies, in cooperation with Air Forces, military commando troops, Rapid Deployment Forces, and the Minutes of Interior, Refai said, noting that the all forces are combing the areas.

Meanwhile, the air forces continued securing the country's border regions "in all strategic directions", while border guards and naval forces were also securing navigation in the Suez Canal global waterway.

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"Operation Sinai 2018", which involves the air force and navy, is also to target jihadists in the Nile Delta and Western Desert near the border with Libya.

Schools in North Sinai have been closed until further notice starting Saturday as the army and police continue operations.

Egyptian soldiers guard at a hospital treating the wounded from a jihadist attack that killed more than 300 worshippers at a North Sinai mosque in November previous year.

This follows after the President of Egypt Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi three-month period to suppress the Islamist insurgency.

No group has claimed responsibility for that attack.

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