Thursday, 22 February, 2018

Egypt: Anti-IS operation kills 16 jihadists

Mohamed El-Shahed—AFP Mohamed El-Shahed—AFP
Lillian Steele | 12 February, 2018, 01:28

Twenty militants were arrested on Sunday by paramilitary Frontier Corps in an intelligence-based military operation in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

The security sweep in Sinai, heart of a persistent Islamic State group insurgency, comes as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seeks reelection next month.

Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) called on foreign reporters and representatives of foreign media outlets to abide by professional rules and only publish what is being released by the army in their coverage of the "Comprehensive Sinai 2018" military operation, launched on Friday.

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

"The armed forces and the police assert their determination to uproot terrorism and to achieve peace and stability", Rifai said, according to the statement. Egypt has denied the report and the Israelis aren't commenting. It covers north and central Sinai, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.

In the first part of 2017 IS stepped up attacks against Christians in Sinai and elsewhere in Egypt, claiming two deadly attacks on churches in Tanta and Alexandria on 9 April.

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".

In a Facebook posting on his account, Sisi wrote: "I follow with pride the heroic actions of my sons in the armed forces and police to clear Egypt's territory of terrorist elements".

The group did not say it had carried out November's attack on the al-Rawda mosque in northern Sinai but it is widely believed to have been responsible. Last year, militants attacked a Sufi mosque in the region, killing 311 worshipers.

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