Egyptian military says it foiled plot by Sinai militants to establish roadside patrol

Ahram Online , Monday 27 Mar 2017

The army said eight militants were killed during the latest operation

Army in Sinai
File Photo: An Egyptian soldier manning a watch tower on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, Oct. 26, 2014. (Photo: AFP)

The Egyptian military has said it foiled a militant plan to establish a patrol to inspect cars in North Sinai’s Rafah.

In an official statement released on Sunday, army spokesperson Tamer El-Refai gave some details of the operation apparently carried out by the armed forces’ second field army which led to the killing of eight militants. The statement did not say when the operation took place.

In the past weeks, Islamic State militant group affiliates in Egypt have released images of what looked like security roadside checkpoints in several areas in North Sinai that was manned by militants not police.

The forces arrested 22 suspects suspected of executing terrorist operations in the areas of Rafah and Arish in North Sinai, the statement read.

On a separate, earlier statement on Sunday, the Egyptian military announced it had killed an unnamed leading figure in Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

On Wednesday, three army officers and seven soldiers were killed during a raid on a militant hideout in central Sinai during which the unnamed leader was killed.

The army said it was able to kill 15 militants and arrested seven others during the raid.

Egypt’s army and police forces are battling a North Sinai-based Islamist insurgency that intensified following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Hundreds of security personnel have been killed in attacks by militants in recent years, while the army says it has killed hundreds of militants in security campaigns in the governorate. 

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