Egypt military launches air, ground campaigns, arrests 24 suspects in N. Sinai
Egyptian airforces

CAIRO: Egyptian military forces have launched air and ground campaigns in terrorist hotbeds in the restive North Sinai in which a total of 24 “terrorist” suspects have been arrested, Youm7 reported an anonymous security official Thursday.

The campaigns that started early Thursday are centered around “terrorist hotbeds” in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah in North Sinai, the official added on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to brief the media.

Meanwhile, the ground military troops have succeeded in remotely detonating five roadside bombs that were planted by militants along three roads. They also found three holes leading to tunnels along the border between Egypt and Gaza city in Palestine.

Twenty-four suspects were arrested during a combing of the areas. Three of the arrested suspects allegedly belong to a terrorist group, the official added.

Last week, a bomb blast killed two policemen and a civilian in an attack on an armored vehicle in the Sinai Peninsula, a medical source told Youm7.

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 Islamic State affiliate in Egypt, which has a footing in North Sinai, has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

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