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Egypt: Anti-IS operation kills 16 jihadists

12 February 2018

In November, Sisi ordered his armed forces chief of staff to restore security in Sinai within three months after militants killed more than 300 worshippers at a mosque.

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

The military said its warplanes struck "terrorist concentrations and hideouts" in northern and central Sinai through the night and into the early hours of Saturday, targeting weapons warehouses and logistics support areas.

On August 5, 2012, the army launched "Eagle 2" operation in North Sinai, following the deaths of 16 police soldiers during an attack on a police station in North Sinai near the Egypt-Israel border crossing Karam Abu Salem.

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Sixteen militants were killed and 34 were arrested in a major crackdown in the Sinai Peninsula launched by Egypt on Friday, the army said on Sunday.

In Cairo, the Egyptian Interior Ministry announced the deaths of three alleged members of the Hasm terror group in the capital but did not offer further details, in a statement published by the official MENA news agency.

A spokesman said they found a communication centre, an explosives laboratory and six drug farms.

Egypt denied this, and Israel declined to comment.

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Egypt's army has been struggling to uproot the strongholds of terrorists, now belonging to the Islamic State branch in Sinai, since the ouster of the Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi, in response to mass protests against his rule in 2013.

And last September Sissi met Netanyahu for the first time in public, the encounter coming ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

Hundreds of police and army personnel were killed since then.

The Salafi Call, the parent organisation of Egypt's Salafist Nour Party, said terrorism in Egypt has become more unsafe than at any previous time and the threat is increasing.

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Egypt: Anti-IS operation kills 16 jihadists