Egyptian army to launch major offensive on Sinai 'terrorist' hideouts: Source

Ahmed Eleiba, Friday 5 Sep 2014

The scheduled offensive comes in the wake of an IED explosion that killed 11 security personnel on Tuesday

Security forces intensified their presence in the north of the Sinai peninsula in anticipation of a major governorate-wide raid on militant hideouts, local sources told Ahram Online.

Local residents have stayed inside their houses in anticipation of the offensive that, according to informed sources, will consist of both ground and air operations.

Five main squares remain closed by security forces in the local cities of El-Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid.

The scheduled offensive comes in the wake of an IED explosion which killed 11 security personnel in Sinai on Tuesday when it exploded underneath their vehicle.

Militant Islamist groups have increased their activities in the peninsula in the last year, mainly targeting security forces. Egypt’s army has been waging a major counter-offensive.

At least six decapitated bodies were found in North Sinai over the last two weeks, with militants claiming the killings as punishment for collaboration with the police and army.

The army has targeted militant hideouts with helicopters and ground troops, killing dozens in recent months.

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