Egypt's military says 16 militants killed in major Sinai operation
The military issued the first casualty figures since Operation Sinai 2018
was launched on Friday, along with reports of militant targets destroyed and
raided in the counter-terrorism drive
Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Feb 2018
Sixteen militants have been killed and four arrested in northern and central
Sinai in a massive anti-terrorism operation waged by military and security
forces, Egypt's army said on Sunday, in the first announcement of casualties
since the campaign was launched two days ago.
Thirty other suspects have been captured and 66 targets, 4x4 vehicles,
motorbikes and arms caches used by militants were destroyed in extensive
raids in the border region, the military said in its statement.
Operation Sinai 2018 was launched on Friday morning, involving land, naval
and air forces, as well as the police and border guards, targeting
"terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" in northern and central
Sinai, as well as parts of the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.
"The air force targeted and destroyed 66 targets used by terrorist elements
to hide from air and artillery attacks, and to escape from their bases
during raids," the statement said.
"Sixteen militants have been killed," it added.
Egypt has for years been battling an Islamist militancy based in the
northern part of the Sinai Peninsula that mainly targets security forces.
The army said it has killed hundreds of militants in military operations
Sunday's statement said that security forces also uncovered and destroyed a
media centre with computers, wireless communication equipment, books and
documents related to jihadi ideology. In addition, six farms used to grow
illegal narcotics were found and destroyed.
Naval units from a Mistral helicopter carrier have continued to comb the
coast of Arish, the capital of North Sinai governorate, while police and
coast guards intensified security measures and patrols, including in Egypt's
southern desert and through mountainous paths along the southern and western
borders, to "thwart any attempt to sneak through international borders."
In late November, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sis ordered the
military to defeat terrorists in North Sinai within three months, a deadline
that will expire at the end of February. He authorized chief of staff
Mohamed Hegazy to use "brute force."