Dozens of IS militants killed in Egypt's Sinai, military claims

Dozens of IS militants killed in Egypt's Sinai, military claims
Egypt's military has claimed dozens of IS fighters have been killed following a major offensive in the troubled Sinai region.
2 min read
05 August, 2018
The Sinai remains one of Egypt's most dangerous regions [Getty]
Egypt's military has claimed troops have killed dozens of Islamic State group militants in the troubled Sinai region, following a major offensive by the army.

"Over the last few days, the operations have led to... the elimination of 52 extremely dangerous takfiri individuals," the army said, referring to the IS militants as Sunni extremists.

Around 49 alleged militants were also arrested in the raids that have taken place over the past few days.

Raids by the military and police have been launched across the Sinai, in a bid to bring the largely lawless peninsular under control.

IS militants have managed to establish a presence in the Sinai, launching attacks on security forces and Egypt's Christian minority.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced the launch of a huge military operation - dubbed "Sinai 2018" - earlier this year.

Footage of troops and tanks being mobilised to the region were screened across Egyptian TV when the operation was launched in February.

Many have dismissed the military mission as a PR stunt by the president, who has been under pressure due to Egypt's sluggish economy, human rights abuses and poor security situation.

The military claims 250 jihadis have been killed in the operation, while Egypt has lost at least 30 soldiers.

Militancy in the Sinai, where many of Egypt's resorts are based, has severely dented tourism, which has had a negative impact on the country's economy.

In 2015, IS claimed responsibility for an explosion on a plane travelling from the Sinai to Russia, which killed all 224 people on board, mostly Russian holidaymakers.

Egypt's military has been accused of gross human rights violations in the Sinai, including the killing and torture of civilians.