Egypt’s army said on Saturday it killed seven “takfiris” in north and central Sinai and arrested 408 suspected or wanted criminal elements as Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 continues into its ninth day.
In the ninth communique since the counter-terrorism campaign was launched last Friday, the army said the air forces destroyed eight terrorist targets, killing three “takfiris” and destroying a 4x4 wheeler carrying a half-inch submachine gun.
The Arabic word "takfiri" refers to hardline Sunni Muslims who accuse other Muslims of being infidels, often as a justification for using violence against them.
The army said forces also raided a dangerous terrorist hotspot, killing four of the armed “takfiri” elements during a shootout, adding that the raid resulted in the confiscation of two machine guns and a improvised explosive device.
The statement said 408 suspected or wanted criminals were arrested and are being legally processed.
Operation Sinai 2018 was launched last Friday, involving land, naval and air forces, as well as the police and border guards, targeting "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" in northern and central Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.
The statement said army engineers uncovered and diffused 45 IEDs which were planted to target security forces during operations.
The army added that its forces destroyed 158 dens and storehouses containing a number of highly explosive materials, C4 and chemical elements used to manufacture IEDs, transmission devices, as well as seven vehicles and 32 unlicensed motorcycles used by the terrorist elements.
Snapshot from video on Operation Sinai 2018 released by the Egyptian Armed Forces on 17 February 2018
Seven tonnes of narcotics were also seized in the operations.
The statement added that the naval forces continued to conduct missions to secure the coasts from Rafah till Al-Arish in order to stop the escape of terrorist elements through the sea.
The joint combat units of the border guard and the police conducted 586 flying checkpoints on main roads and across desert areas nationwide, imposing full control along the southern and western borders.
According to the statement, Border Guard forces stopped an attempt to smuggle weapons and narcotics on the western borders, seizing 99 guns and 400,000 different narcotic pills.
As part of the efforts to bring the legal status of citizens who live in north and central Sinai up to date, the army said the interior ministry was currently issuing and renewing national IDs, as well as driving licenses and licenses for vehicles and motorcycles.