Egyptian army operations kill 70 militants in Sinai
Iran Press TV
Sun Mar 8, 2015 5:26PM
Egyptian government forces have killed 70 militants and arrested 118 others during separate aerial attacks and security raids in the volatile Sinai Peninsula over the past week.
Army spokesman, Brigadier General Mohamed Samir, said on Sunday that the militants were killed during operations in the city of el-Arish, situated 344 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of the capital, Cairo, and in the border town of Rafah as well as Sheikh Zuweid town, situated 334 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of Cairo.
He added that several members of Ansar Bait al-Maqdis Takfiri militant group were among the slain terrorists, while 23 of those arrested had already been wanted by Egyptian security authorities.
The Egyptian army says at least 172 militants were killed in joint police and military operations in the violence-plagued Sinai Peninsula in February. The towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah as well as the city of el-Arish were among the locations where the casualties were recorded last month.
A state of emergency has been declared in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula since a militant attack on an Egyptian army checkpoint killed more than 30 soldiers in October 2014.
The Egyptian military considers the Sinai Peninsula a safe haven for gunmen, who use the region as a base for their "acts of terror."
Since the ouster of former president, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013, gunmen have launched terrorist attacks in Sinai, killing members of Egypt's security forces.
Ansar Bait al-Maqdis has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks in the region. The group has recently pledged allegiance to the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group and changed its name to Velayat Sinai.
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