Egypt reports successes in Sinai operation against militants

Aaron Brown
February 12, 2018

"The armed forces and the police assert their determination to uproot terrorism and to achieve peace and stability", said Colonel Tamer al-Rifai in the statement.

The Egyptian military has reported killing 16 militants and detaining over 30 suspects in its latest operation in the Sinai Peninsula.

The group, which has been involved in preaching, said militants have paid no heed to its "advice or guidance" against conducting attacks.

A video recording posted on social media, purportedly from a group affiliated to Islamic State, appeared to showed masked militants executing soldiers and civilians they accused of collaborating with security forces.

A spokesman said they found a communication centre, an explosives laboratory and six drug farms.

"The air force targeted and destroyed 66 targets used by terrorist elements to hide from air and artillery attacks", Rifai said in a statement.

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On Friday, Egypt launched Operation Sinai 2018, involving land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards, targeting "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert. Members of the armed forces are barred by law from expressing political opinions in Egypt. Konsowa said he had submitted his resignation to the army in 2014 and it was denied. The Sinai borders Israel and the Gaza Strip and has always been a bastion for Islamic insurgent groups tied to al-Qaida.

The operation comes less than two months before presidential elections in Egypt set for March 26, according to Reuters.

And last September Sissi met Netanyahu for the first time in public, the encounter coming ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

In November 2017, at least 235 people were killed in a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in Bir al-Abed, a town in North Sinai province.

Militancy has always been a problem in Sinai, but it spiked dramatically after el-Sissi led the military's 2013 overthrow of elected but divisive Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Locals said the mosque was popular among Sufis.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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