Egyptian air force pounds Sinai militants

by Frankie Norman February 12, 2018, 0:30
Egyptian air force pounds Sinai militants

Egypt's army says it had killed 16 jihadists and detained 34 since launching a major security sweep in Sinai.

"The air force targeted and destroyed 66 targets used by terrorist elements to hide from air and artillery attacks, and to escape from their bases during raids", an army statement said.

The army also said that 30 suspected terrorists were arrested.

On November 29, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave the military a three-month deadline to clear the Sinai Peninsula of militants, days after terrorists staged a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in northern Sinai that killed over 300 worshippers.

On the ground, special forces, working with police, conducted raids inside cities in Sinai to seize militants, military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said.

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

A video recording posted on social media, purportedly from a group affiliated to Islamic State, appeared to showed masked militants executing soldiers and civilians they accused of collaborating with security forces.

According to the ministry, one of those killed was Salahadin Attia Ibrahim Omara, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist political-social movement of former President Mohamed Morsi that was declared a terror organization after his ouster in 2013.

The growing military cooperation between Israel and Egypt has always been rumored and in June, Israel's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) noted that if the frequent claims of anti-terror coordination were accurate it would show "the level of trust between the nations has reached the point where Israel is providing various military, technological and operational intelligence to Egypt and is operating attack UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in Sinai with Cairo's approval".

It also discovered and destroyed an explosives-making laboratory and a communications centre, as well as six cannabis and opium fields, he said.

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