Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Egypt Continues Military Operations In Sinai Amid Reports Of Israeli Backing

Egypt Continues Military Operations In Sinai Amid Reports Of Israeli Backing

At least 16 militants were killed today in raids by the military in Egypt's restive North Sinai region under a major operation started to tighten control of border districts.

The Egyptian army spokesman said today that air force targeted and destroyed sixty six hideouts of the terrorists.

Last Friday, police and army announced that they will be on high alert for the duration of Operation Sinai 2018.

The military has launched security campaigns in the North Sinai area, in which some terrorists are based.

They added that the dead bodies of the 10 militants have been moved to a hospital in nearby Ismailia province.

The operation was launched as part of the efforts to reach the three-month deadline set by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to eliminate terrorism after the mosque attack that killed 310 people in the northern Sinai city of Arish in November, 2017.

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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.

Islamist insurgents have been targeting security forces since 2013 when the army led by Sisi, then the army chief, ousted President Mohamed Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, following mass protests against his rule.

The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of previous year.

In a Facebook posting on his account, Sisi wrote: "I follow with pride the heroic actions of my sons in the armed forces and police to clear Egypt's territory of terrorist elements".

The Salafi Call, the parent organisation of Egypt's Salafist Nour Party, said terrorism in Egypt has become more unsafe than at any previous time and the threat is increasing.

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