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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Egypt's army kills 12 militants in Sinai operation

Air strikes destroyed 60 targets as part of a campaign to crush extremist insurgents blamed for a string of attacks in the country

Egyptians use the ferry to cross the Suez Canal in Ismailia, 120 kilometres east of Cairo, on February 9, 2018. Khaled Elfiqi / EPA
Egyptians use the ferry to cross the Suez Canal in Ismailia, 120 kilometres east of Cairo, on February 9, 2018. Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

Egypt’s security forces killed 12 militants and arrested 92 in a continuing crackdown in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said on Monday.

Air strikes destroyed 60 targets as part of a campaign that was launched on Friday to crush extremist insurgents blamed for a string of attacks in the country, the army said in a statement carried by State TV.

On Sunday, 16 militants were killed and 34 were arrested.

The extremists had been killed and detained during a "sweep and raids … in northern and central Sinai", said army spokesman Tamer Al Rifai.

Read more: Egypt's Operation Sinai 2018 is all-out war on militants

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi — who is seeking re-election next month — pledged in November to wipe out terrorist elements “within three months” after militants killed more than 300 people at a mosque in the village of Al Rawdah, in the troubled northern sector of the peninsula near Bir El Abd town. No group has claimed responsibility for that attack.

Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by extremists since the army in 2013 overthrew Mr El Sisi's predecessor, president Mohammed Morsi.

“Operation Sinai 2018” will cover large parts of Sinai, but also parts of the Nile Delta and the West Desert, where other militants have waged attacks.