45 ‘terrorists’ killed during past week in Sinai: Egypt army

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Mar 2015

Militants killed during army raids in North Sinai's Rafah, Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, army says

Mohamed Samir
Egypt's spokesperson of the Armed Forces Mohamed Samir (Photo: Courtesy of Egypt's army spokesman's official Facebook page)

The Egyptian army said on Sunday it had killed 45 "terrorists" in the Sinai Peninsula during the last week.

Army spokesman Mohamed Samir said 32 were killed during air strikes made by Apache helicopters in Al-Arish city in North Sinai.

Samir added that raids were also carried out in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah cities.      

"Eighty-seven suspects were arrested, five of whom were already wanted by the authorities," the statement read.

Early in March, the spokesperson announced that the army had killed 70 suspected militants in the Sinai Peninsula in one week, some of whom were linked to Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, the major militant group in the region which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

During February 173 suspected militants were killed in the peninsula, Samir added.

Earlier, Samir said between November and January 206 suspected militants were killed in Sinai, including "dangerous elements.”

He also announced that in the same period 1,597 suspected terrorists were arrested.

In January, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree to create a unified military command for east of the Suez Canal to combat terrorism, two days after a series of militant attacks killed at least 30 people in North Sinai.

The new unified command structure is led by General Osama Roshdy Askar. It brings together the Second and Third armies to oversee counter-terrorism activities in Sinai.

Although the deadliest attacks by Islamist militants have been centered in the country's restive Sinai, dozens of smaller bombs have been planted in recent weeks nationwide.

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