Egypt: 15 terrorists killed in anti-terror operation

Egypt: 15 terrorists killed in anti-terror operation

Egyptian security forces killed 10 militants in an exchange of fire and arrested 400 suspects, including foreigners, in a continuing crackdown in Sinai, the army said in a statement carried by state TV on Tuesday.

Since the launch of Operation Sinai 2018 last week, at least 38 militants have been killed in an offensive to defeat militants behind a string of attacks in the country.

Egypt's army said in a statement on February 11 that 66 targets "used by terrorist elements to hide from air and artillery attacks, and to escape from their bases during raids" were destroyed.

According to the statement, the raids destroyed 181 mountain huts, hideouts and warehouses containing explosives and chemicals used for making improvised explosive devices.

On Friday, the military announced the start of "Operation Sinai 2018" in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel, the central Nile Delta and the Western Desert near the border with Libya.

The source added that "the operation aims to eliminate the presence of the Islamic State-affiliated (IS) group Sinai Province".

On the ground, special forces, working with police, conducted raids inside cities in Sinai to seize militants, military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said in a statement.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the mosque attack, the deadliest terror attack and the first against a mosque in Egypt's modern history.

Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by militants since the army - then headed by Sisi - overthrew Islamist President Mohammad Morsi in 2013.

The anti-terror "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018" comes weeks before Egypt's 2018 presidential elections scheduled for March, where incumbent President Sisi is expected to make an easy win for a second term because of lack of strong rivals in the race.

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