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Egypt's military says 8 'takfiris', 2 conscripts killed in Sinai operation

Ahram Online , Tuesday 29 May 2018
Still image from a video of the military operation in Sinai and other part of the country released by army spokesman on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Egypt’s military has said eight Islamist "takfiris" and two army personnel have been killed in the past few days as part of an extensive offensive to crush militant groups concentrated in parts of Sinai.

The attacks are part of a major security operation, Operation Sinai 2018, which involves the army, navy, air force and police, launched in February to target “terrorist and criminal elements and organisations” in northern and central Sinai, parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.

The armed forces’ spokesman announced the deaths in a video communiqué published on the Egyptian military's official Facebook page on Tuesday, the 23rd such military statement on Operation Sinai 2018 since its launch.

The takfiris were killed in an exchange of fire with army forces during raids in northern and central Sinai, the spokesman said, as the video showed footage and photos of the attacks.

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.

Two army conscripts were killed and three other conscripts and one officer were injured during clashes with the militants, added the spokesman.

The deaths bring the total number of those killed since the operation began to more than 300, including at least 37 military personnel, according to calculations based on military statements.

The air force, which has been conducting airstrikes in northern and central Sinai since the operation started, also recently destroyed two vehicles loaded with weapons near Egypt’s western border, the spokesman said.

He added that 64 criminal fugitives and suspects have been arrested in recent days, while 578 people have beencaptured while attempting to enter Egypt illegally through the country's western border with Libya.

Forces have also recently destroyed 80 hideouts used by militants to store weapons in central and northern Sinai, and a weapon cache near the country’s western border.

Military engineers have discovered and destroyed 15 bombs planted to target forces at operation sites, he added.

Security forces have also recently uncovered and destroyed "a number of" farms used to grow banned narcotics.

The armed forces said it has continued to dispatch convoys to distribute food to locals in northern and central Sinai, to meet their needs in the areas it is operating in, especially during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.


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