CAIRO: At least 14 suspected militants were killed and 13 others arrested in military operations over the past two days in North Sinai, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir announced Friday.
The campaign is a part of the second phase of “Martyr’s Right” military operation in North Sinai’s towns of Arish, Sheikh Zuwayed, Rafah, according to Samir.
During the operations, “troops from Egypt’s second and third army fields seized five machine guns, two suicide belts, 12 improvised explosive devices, six sacks of ammonium nitrate used in producing explosives,” according to Samir.
The forces also destroyed three vehicles, 13 motorbikes used by militants in terrorist attacks, as well as 16 improvised explosive devices, said Samir.
In October 2015, the Egyptian army launched “the Right of Martyr” large scale military operation against militant groups in the Sinai Peninsula which left hundreds of militants killed and many suspects arrested.
Egypt has witnessed a significant rise in militancy since the military-backed ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule. According to the Interior Ministry, militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.
The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al Maqdis (ABM) militant group, which has changed its name to the “Sinai State” and vowed loyalty to the regional Islamic State (IS) militant group, has claimed responsibility for most of the terror attacks in Sinai and across Egypt.