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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Three soldiers killed in campaign against extremists, Egypt says

Military has reported its own casualties for the first time since it launched Operation Sinai 2018

Military forces are seen in North Sinai, Egypt, on December 1, 2017. Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
Military forces are seen in North Sinai, Egypt, on December 1, 2017. Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

Three Egyptian soldiers were killed in a continuing campaign against extremists in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt’s military said on Monday.

This marks the first time the military has reported its own casualties since it launched Operation Sinai 2018 on February 9. The statement released by the military did not say where or when the soldiers had died.

At least 38 militants have been killed and 400 arrested in the offensive to defeat extremists behind a string of attacks in the country.

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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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