x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Egypt air strikes kill militants

Strikes against 'a terrorist group' responsible for killing police and troops in north Sinai left 25 people dead and injured.

CAIRO // Egyptian air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula killed several militants and destroyed a weapons depot, the military said yesterday.

The strikes on Saturday night against "a terrorist group" responsible for killing police and troops in north Sinai left "25 people dead and injured", said army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Aly.

A weapons and ammunition depot, "which was being used for terrorist acts against the armed forces and police, terrorising the innocent citizens of North Sinai" was also destroyed, he said.

A military source said 15 people were killed in the attack that saw Egyptian military helicopters target militants near the village of Touma, close to Sheikh Zuwayed.

In Touma, witnesses only confirmed two people killed.

Militants based mainly in north Sinai have escalated attacks on security forces since July 3, when the army ousted the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi and installed a new government.

The Egyptian army has been trying to curtail violence and rein in militant activity in the Sinai.

An Egyptian militant group, Ansar Jerusalem, said four of its members belonging to Sinai Bedouin tribes were killed by Israeli drones on Friday. Cairo denied the allegation.

"There is no truth whatsoever to any Israeli strikes inside Egyptian territory and the claim that there is Egyptian and Israeli coordination on the matter is utterly baseless," Col Aly said.