Egyptian security forces kill 8 suspected militants in Sinai

Egyptian security forces kill 8 suspected militants in Sinai
Egyptian security forces killed eight suspected militants in Sinai after raiding a suspected militant hideout
2 min read
09 January, 2018
Militants attacked a Sufi mosque in Sinai killing dozens last year [AFP]
Security forces in Egypt have killed eight suspected militants in a shootout in the northern Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday.

Egypt's interior ministry said that clashes broke out when security forces raided a suspected militant hideout in the city of el-Arish. Militants were allegedly planning attacks targeting security forces, it said, and were in possession of explosives, rifles and ammunition.

Egypt has been battling a growing militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula since the overthrow of the elected former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Last week, security forces arrested ten and killed three suspected militants in a gunfire exchange near Giza.

An IS affiliate in Egypt has killed dozens of Christians in church bombings and shootings during the past year, and has threatened further attacks against the minority.

Last month, militants in northern Sinai killed 305 people in the deadliest assault by militants in Egypt's modern history, at a mosque near al-Arish.

After the mosque attack, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi instructed his military chief of staff to quell the attacks in three months using "complete brutal force".

"In three months, with God's grace, and with your help and sacrifices and those of the police, Egypt will restore stability and security in Sinai," Sisi said.

"Complete brutal force will be used. Complete brutal force."

The Sinai Peninsula had long been demilitarised under the terms of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, but as the violence intensified the government responded by ramping up its military presence, with the tacit approval of Israel.