International News

Egyptian army kills 12 militants, arrests 92 amid fresh Sinai operation

Egyptian security forces have killed 12 Takfiri militants and captured 92 others as part of an ongoing military offensive in the violence-torn Sinai Peninsula.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Egyptian army said the latest fatalities, which came during heavy gun battles, brought to 28 the number of the militants killed since the launch of ‘Operation Sinai 2018’ on Friday.
The Egyptian air force also bombed 60 militant positions in the region.
The objective of the major operation — involving Egyptian forces in the army, air force and the navy — is to tighten control of border points and “clean up areas where there are terrorist hotbeds,” according to the army.
In November, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had instructed the country’s armed forces to end the Daesh-inspired militancy in Sinai Peninsula within three months, after a brutal mosque attack killed over 300 people.
Sisi, who is preparing to seek a second term in the upcoming presidential elections in March, has ordered the army to use “absolute force” to eradicate the terrorists.
The Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, after a deadly militant attack left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.
In past years, militants have been carrying out anti-government activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013.
The Velayat Sinai outfit has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.
Velayat Sinai is affiliated to the once-powerful Daesh Takfiri militant group operating in Iraq and Syria.