Sunday, 18 February, 2018

Egyptian air force pounds Sinai militants

Major assault launched against IS in Egypt 16 militants killed in Sinai: Egypt army
Faye Gross | 12 February, 2018, 01:30

In remarks to "Ten new" talk show on TEN channel on Friday evening, Radi said that "Sinai 2018 is a result of a series of military efforts and investigations since 2013, and particularly after the Rawdah Mosque attack", which occurred on November 24, 2017 and claimed lives of more than 300 people in North Sinai.

Egypt's army has pursued Islamic State group militants in the northern Sinai region for years, after numerous bomb and gun attacks on troops in the region.

A major operation was launched on Friday with Egyptian ground, air and naval forces along with border guards and police on the hunt - possibly with the help of Israel.

"The armed forces call upon Egyptian people in all parts of the country to closely cooperate with law enforcement forces to confront terrorism, uproot it and immediately report any elements threatening the security and stability of the country", military spokesman Colonel Tamer al Rifai said in a televised address.

Last week the New York Times reported that unmarked Israeli aircraft were carrying out covert strikes in Egypt with the Egyptian president's approval.

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Sixty-six targets, arms depots, SUVs and motorbikes used by militants were destroyed in raids focused mainly in Sinai, but also in the Nile Delta and the western desert, the army added in a statement carried on state TV.

In December, militants launched another attack, firing a missile at a helicopter that was part of the entourage of Egypt's defence and interior ministers, who were in the provincial capital El Arish on an unannounced visit.

Hundreds of police and army personnel were killed since then. Locals said the mosque was popular among Sufis.

A member of Wilayat Sinai warned Egyptians against voting in a presidential election, scheduled next month, and urged Islamist militants to "destroy their day of polytheism, spill their blood, beginning with their leaders".

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