4 militants killed as Egypt's troops press on with daily offensives in Sinai

Ahram Online, Thursday 21 Aug 2014

Egyptian Army soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in Sheikh Zweid, northern Sinai (File Photo: Reuters)

Security forces have killed four militants in shoot-outs in the Sinai Peninsula, where troops have been battling an Islamist-oriented insurgency since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last summer, state news agency MENA reported.

Two suspected militant fighters were also arrested in the attacks on Wednesday, which took place in the northern Sinai towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah.

Thirty-one buildings allegedly used as bases for the attacks were destroyed in the violence on Wednesday, as were nine cars and 16 motorbikes belonging to the insurgents.

Attacks by Sinai-based militants have increased dramatically since the ouster of Morsi, with attacks primarily targeting Egyptian security forces.

Hundreds of police and military personnel have been killed in the violence which has also led to civilian casualties.

Radical Islamist groups have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, vowing to avenge the killing and arrest of hundreds of Islamists following Morsi's removal.

Egypt's military has launched large-scale operations in the underdeveloped region to quell the militants. The extensive offensive involves the destruction of a network of smuggling tunnels connecting Sinai with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Two more passages were destroyed on Wednesday, bringing the total number of tunnels destroyed by the army to almost 1,700 since it intensified its campaign early in 2013.

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