CAIRO: At least 65 militants were killed Friday after Egyptian security forces raided their shelters in North Sinai, a part of the third phase of the“Martyr’s Right” military operation, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir said on his Facebook page.
The ground forces, jointly with air forces, targeted hideouts of “terrorists” in the North Sinai cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayed, killing 65 militants, said Samir.
The spokesman added that the security raids destroyed 12 vehicles and motorbikes used in smuggling arms through Egypt’s western boundaries.
“The operation, carried out by Egyptian air and ground forces, aims to achieve full control on North Sinai’s towns of Arish, Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayed,” Samir said.
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.
In October 2015, the Egyptian army launched the second phase of its “the Right of Martyr” military operation against militant groups in the Sinai Peninsula.
The operation lasted for over two weeks and resulted in, according to separate statements by Samir, killing over 112 militants in Egypt’s restive peninsula.
Over 500 militants were killed in the military operation’s second phase, according to Samir.