Egypt's army says it killed 10 militants in Sinai
Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Nov 2014
Militants killed in gun battle after trying to attack checkpoint, says army

Egypt's army says it killed 10 Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, the latest in a wave of assaults on suspected militant fighters in the region.

The militants were killed in a shoot out after they tried to attack a military checkpoint, army spokesman Mohamed Samir said in a statement on Sunday.

Eighteen others were arrested during raids in the mountainous region, the statement added, without identifying where the operations occurred.

The army said it also destroyed 12 vehicles and 41 motorcycles used by militants in carrying out attacks on police and troops.

The campaign comes days after the army said it had killed seven other alleged militants and arrested 67 others in raids on Thursday and Friday.

Sinai has been home to an Islamist insurgency for the last decade, but the attacks have intensified following the 2013 ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Earlier in November, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis, Egypt's deadliest militant group, swore allegiance to the Islamic State, which has seized large territories of Syria and Iraq in recent months.

The military has mounted an extensive campaign in the region to crush militant violence, which has killed hundreds of police and army troops over the past 16 months.

Security forces have announced the killings of hundreds of militants. The violence has also led to civilian casualties.

In October, Egypt began demolishing houses and clearing residents along its border with Gaza to set up a buffer zone aimed at deterring militant infiltration and arms smuggling.

The government's move came on the back of a deadly attack by militants that killed 30 soldiers on 24 October, the worst such assault on security forces in years.