CAIRO: Egyptian military forces have killed 16 militants in restive North Sinai over the past two days, the Egyptian military spokesperson Mohamed Samir said in a statement Monday evening.
Several days ago the military forces, in cooperation with police forces, launched the third phase of a campaign titled “The Martyr’s Right” against the terrorists in North Sinai, particularly in Arish and Sheikh Zewuid.
In cooperation with the police forces and Special forces, the Egyptian military raided known terrorist hotbeds. The raid claimed the lives of 16 suspects, detonated a total of 24 roadside bombs in highways and side roads, and destroyed 19 houses and 16 cottages inhabited by the militants, Samir added in the statement.
A number of weapon depots were completely destroyed and an underground hideout containing a large quantity of explosives was seized, Samir continued.
The first phase of the operation of The Martyr’s Right began in September 2015.
Last week, three police personnel (a police officer and two conscripts) and a civilian were injured after a roadside bomb detonated near an armored vehicle in Arish, Youm7 reported a medical official as saying.
Hundreds of military and police officers have been killed in roadside bomb attacks in Sinai where the militant group, the Islamic State, has a footing.
Since the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 by the military, Egypt has seen a significant increase in militancy. The Ministry of Interior announced that militant attacks have killed more than 500 security personnel since then.
Due to the deteriorated situation in Sinai, the Fijian government announced that it will pull out 65 of its more than 300 peacekeepers and close remote bases in Sinai Peninsula, AP reported. The U.S and Colombia are also considering a withdrawal, the news agency added.