Egypt security forces kill 11 militants in restive Sinai

Egypt security forces kill 11 militants in restive Sinai
11 militants were killed by Egyptian security forces in North Sinai, where Egypt has been fighting an insurgency since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
2 min read
20 August, 2019
Egyptian policemen drive on a road leading to the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish [AFP/Getty]

Egyptian security forces killed 11 Islamist militants from a local affiliate of the Islamic State group based in the restive North Sinai region, the interior ministry said on Tuesday. 

The militants, armed with weapons and explosives, were killed in a shootout during a raid on their hideout near a police station in the provincial capital El-Arish, the ministry said in a statement.

According to intelligence from the national security department, the militants used the hideout as "a base to launch their hostile operations," it added.

Egypt has for years been fighting an insurgency in North Sinai, which escalated following the military's 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests.

Comment: When Morsi was ousted, so was Egypt's democracy

Since then, hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in jihadist attacks.

Egyptian security officials said in July that militants had beheaded four people in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

The IS-linked militants have carried out scores of attacks, in Egypt mainly targeting the security forces and minority Christians. 

In late 2017, North Sinai was the scene of the deadliest attack in Egypt's modern history when militants killed more than 300 worshippers at a mosque, without any group claiming responsibility.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against the militants, focusing mainly on North Sinai.

Some 650 militants and around 45 soldiers have been killed since, according to a tally based on statements by the armed forces.

No independently verified death toll is available and the region is largely cut off to journalists.

However the Egyptian government has recently begun organising occasional media visits, closely supervised by the military.

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