Egyptian army 'kills 16 militants' in Sinai operation
Feb 12, 2018, 00:30
Egypt's armed forces on Friday launched airstrikes against alleged terror organisations in north and central Sinai, while three alleged members of a militant group were killed by security forces in the capital Cairo, the opening moves in a major new nationwide security operation, officials said. Col.
Since the 2011 Revolution that ended former President Hosni Mubarak's 30 years in power, militant groups used Sinai as a hotbed and attacked several military and security forces.
The Egyptian Ministry of Defense said on February 9 it launched a military operation of unprecedented size to "crush terrorism" in the Sinai and secure points of entry into the country.
The statement says they discovered a communication center and six drug farms.
The footage highlights the Egyptian military's top-of-the-line weaponry, including French Rafale fighters, US F-16 fighter-bombers, US Apache attack helicopters, a modern EADS transport aircraft, the Casa C-295, and US twin-rotored Chinook helicopters.
Egypt denied this, and Israel declined to comment. The Sinai borders Israel and the Gaza Strip and has always been a bastion for Islamic insurgent groups tied to al-Qaida.
Egypt's armed forces Saturday continued what it describes as "intensive airstrikes against terrorist targets and gatherings" in Central and North Sinai.
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A military spokesman said the operation would cover large parts of Sinai, but also parts of the Nile delta and the Western Desert, where other militants have waged attacks, some believed to be staged out of neighbouring Libya.
Its second and third phases began in January and April 2016, respectively, while the fourth phase started In August 2017, 10 days after 26 Egyptian security personnel were killed in an attack the North Sinai city of Rafah. Locals said the mosque was popular among Sufis.
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Police and security forces have frequently been the target of deadly attacks staged by insurgents in the area. Egypt has for years been struggling to contain an Islamic insurgency in the turbulent Sinai region.
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