Six ter­ror­ists, 2 soldiers killed in Si­nai op­er­a­tion

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL -

Six ter­ror­ists and two Egyp­tian soldiers were killed last week dur­ing a sweep­ing op­er­a­tion against Daesh group mil­i­tants in the Si­nai Penin­sula, the army said on Sun­day.

The army launched the cam­paign on Fe­bru­ary 9 af­ter Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah El-Sisi, who this week won a sec­ond term, gave it a three-month dead­line to crush Daesh in the Si­nai.

Army spokesman Tamer Ri­fai in a state­ment said the six ter­ror­ists were killed in an ex­change of fire in the north of the Si­nai, as the army launched a raid against a “very dan­ger­ous ter­ror­ist cell.”

An of­fi­cer and a soldier were also killed last week and two other troops wounded, he said.

Dur­ing the same pe­riod the army ar­rested more than 500 “wanted crim­i­nals” and pre­vented 169 peo­ple of var­i­ous na­tion­al­i­ties from in­fil­trat­ing across the western bor­der with Libya, the mil­i­tary said.

Since the cam­paign was launched, more than 100 ter­ror­ists and at least 22 soldiers have been killed, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures.

El-Sisi won a sec­ond term with 96.9 per­cent of valid votes dur­ing this week’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, in which he faced only one can­di­date, state me­dia re­ported on Fri­day.

The Na­tional Elec­tion Au­thor­ity is sched­uled to an­nounce the full of­fi­cial re­sult on Mon­day.

In Novem­ber El-Sisi, a for­mer army chief, is­sued an ul­ti­ma­tum to the army to crush the ter­ror­ists af­ter sus­pected Daesh gun­men mas­sa­cred more than 300 wor­ship­pers at a Si­nai mosque.

Se­cu­rity forces have sought to quell at­tacks by an Egyp­tian ji­hadist group that later de­clared al­le­giance to Daesh since the mil­i­tary ousted Mo­hammed Mursi in 2013, fol­low­ing mass protests against him.

The group has killed hun­dreds of soldiers, po­lice­men and civil­ians, mainly in its North Si­nai strong­hold but also else­where in Egypt.

The ter­ror­ists have also killed scores of Chris­tians in church bomb­ings and shoot­ings.

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