Egyptian authorities kill 'IS-affiliated militants' in restive Sinai region

Egyptian authorities kill 'IS-affiliated militants' in restive Sinai region
Egyptian security forces killed 17 suspected IS militants, as the state's campaign against an insurgency in the Sinai nears its two year anniversary.
2 min read
12 February, 2020
Egyptian security forces on Tuesday killed 17 suspected militants as part of crackdown against an Islamic State group active in the country's restive Sinai province, according to the foreign ministry.

Authorities targeted districts in Arish, the largest city in the Sinai, where the group's members had allegedly planned and orchestrated multiple recent attacks, according to The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site.

Eleven insurgents were killed in a shootout at one site, where weapons and explosive devices were said to be seized, after police received a tip-off from the National Security Agency.

Six others fled to an abandoned property in a nearby district, was soon located by Egyptian security forces, who surrounded the building. A long exchange of gunfire resulted in the death of six militants and no casualties were reported on the government's side.

On Sunday, militants in the province killed and wounded seven Egyptian soldiers from various ranks, including two officers, according to a statement posted to the military's Facebook page. Earlier this month, the group responsibllity for blowing up a major domestic gas pipeline in the region.

Northern Sinai has been left deserted after a slow exodus from the region, which has seen an uptick in bloody attacks from the group for the past two years and a brutal crackdown by security forces.  

Police and army have also been accused of committing human rights abuses in their attempts to combat the insurgency. 

Over 840 suspected militants have been killed, according to army figures, along with more than 60 security personnel since Feb. 2018. 

The Islamist insurgency began after the ouster of late former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, and the massive crackdown on the currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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