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Tuesday Feb 13 2018

Egypt forces have killed 38 militants in major operation


CAIRO: Egypt's military said Tuesday it has killed 38 militants and arrested more than 500 militants and suspects days after launching a major operation against a Daesh affiliate in Sinai.

The military said it had killed 10 "extremely dangerous" militants, in addition to 28 militants it had previously announced as having been killed.

A statement added that 400 "criminal elements and suspects" had been arrested, having previously announced the arrest of 126 people.

The dead militants had been "hiding inside a house in the vicinity of El-Arish city following a shoot-out," spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said in the statement.

The operation has also destroyed several vehicles and warehouses, he said.

On Friday, the military announced the start of "Operation Sinai 2018" in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel, the central Nile Delta and the Western Desert near the border with Libya.

The security sweep comes as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seeks re-election in March, after the first term in office that has seen him crack down on a militant insurgency and other opponents.

Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by militants since the army - then headed by Sisi - overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Militants linked to Daesh and based in North Sinai have waged a deadly insurgency against the country's security forces.

Egypt's air force and navy have also been taking part in the operation, with the Sinai sweep focusing on targets in the north and centre of the peninsula.


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