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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Egypt's security forces kill 10 militants in Sinai operation

Since the launch of Operation Sinai 2018, the army said it has killed dozens of militants

In this February 25, 2018 photo, provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi (C) attends the inauguration of the East Suez Canal Counter-Terrorism command, in Sinai, Egypt. AP
In this February 25, 2018 photo, provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi (C) attends the inauguration of the East Suez Canal Counter-Terrorism command, in Sinai, Egypt. AP

Ten militants were killed and 245 suspects were arrested in an ongoing clampdown on extremists in the Sinai Peninsula, the army said.

Since the launch of Operation Sinai 2018 on February 9, the army said it has killed dozens of militants and destroyed hundreds of targets. On Sunday, it said that four soldiers were killed, raising military casualties to at least 16.

The army “destroyed 145 shelters and warehouses in the mountainous region”, it said in a statement on Sunday.

“The air forces struck six targets belonging to the terrorists and destroyed two booby-trapped vehicles.”

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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 area 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, of the Muslim Brotherhood.

A group of Sinai-based extremists swore allegiance to ISIL in 2014. Attacks by the militants have killed hundreds of soldiers and police and scores of civilians.

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

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