Army continues strikes in N Sinai; 17 extremists killed
ُEgyptian armed forces in North Sinai - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Some 17 extremists were killed and five others were injured amid military air strikes hitting alleged takfiri, or hard-line Islamic militant, spots in North Sinai during the past few hours, Youm7 quoted security sources as saying Wednesday.

An intensive security campaign is taking place in the Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah against radical elements attacking military and police forces in the northern tip of the peninsula. The latest attack on security utilities took place Thursday, killing 16 soldiers and injuring 20 others. The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) claimed responsibility for the attack.

In response, the army has been combing the area in search for insurgents involved in the attack, an operation that has left dozens dead.

Some 15 “Islamist militants” were killed and a number of “terrorist” hotbeds were destroyed on Tuesday, MENA reported.

Security forces announced Wednesday they foiled seven attempted attacks and bombed four stores of explosive devices and landmines in South of Sheikh Zuwayed and Rafah, according to Youm7.

Egypt recently announced it is studying a possible expansion of a 1-km wide buffer zone along the Rafah border in Gaza that was established in October 2014.

Since the establishment of the buffer zone, the army announced uncovering hundreds of hidden smuggling tunnels under homes, which were destroyed and displaced residents were compensated.

The latest of these discoveries was on March 29, in which a 2.8 km tunnel was found passing under three homes in Rafah City near the borders with Gaza. The tunnel is the longest one uncovered so far since the security campaign has started.

Additional reporting by Mohamed Hussein

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