Clashes between army, militants in Sinai's Sheikh Zuwayed

Ahram Online, Saturday 24 Aug 2013

Army forces and militants exchange fire in residential area in Sheikh Zuwayed, North Sinai, early Saturday

Egyptian army near Al-Arish in the Sinai peninsula (Photo: Reuters)

Violent clashes broke out between unidentified militants and army forces in Sheikh Zuwayed, North Sinai, in the early hours of Saturday.

The clashes erupted when an unidentified car fired at a security checkpoint, reported the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA). 

Meanwhile, in Sheikh Zuwayed itself, militants reportedly shot at army forces from inside a school building, prompting the army to surround the school.

Military armoured vehicles arrived in the area, which contains residential buildings. Houses were caught in the melee, with shots breaking a number of windows.  

No official reports have given on causalities, if any.

In parallel, the army continued destroying smuggling tunnels on the Sinai/Gaza borders, including a main underground tunnel, according to Al-Ahram Arabic website.

Egypt's Armed Forces spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali said Friday that security forces killed 78 suspected militants, including 32 foreigners, in recent operations in Sinai. He added that 203 persons were arrested.

Militants attacks have been on the rise in the restive peninsula since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi by the army 3 July amid mass protests against him and Muslim Brotherhood rule.

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