Fighting kills four children in Egypt's Sinai

Fighting kills four children in Egypt's Sinai
Four children have been killed in fighting between the Egyptian army and militants in northeast Sinai as rights groups call of authorities to do more to protect civilians.
2 min read
29 January, 2016
Civilians are being caught in the cross fire between the army and militants [AFP]
Fighting between Egyptian army troops and extremist militants in the restive northeastern part of the Sinai Peninsula killed four children and wounded eight other minors on Thursday.

The Rafah hospital said in a statement that the children were killed and wounded during clashes using heavy weapons, with some buried under rubble when buildings were hit and collapsed.

The fighting took place close to the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Egypt has been hit with a wave of suicide bombings and militant attacks that intensified after the military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The local Islamic State group (IS) affiliate has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

Earlier on Thursday, IS claimed responsibility for the roadside bombing of an army convoy in northern Sinai on Wednesday that killed at least four soldiers.

Meanwhile, the Sinai Monitor for Human rights said Thursday that 86 children have been killed due to Egyptian security operations against militants in Sinai over the past two years.

86 children have been killed due to Egyptian security operations against militants in Sinai over the past two years

The rights group said indiscriminate shelling by the army and airstrikes against residential areas in the restive region have resulted in the death of the children.

It has also documented four cases of forced disappearance carried out by Egyptian security services against children under the age of 18.

The group called on the Egyptian authorities to protect children and civilians in Sinai and to investigate the deaths of the 86 killed in military operations.

On Wednesday, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in its annual report that militant attacks across Egypt had increased dramatically in 2015, despite Egypt's commitment of additional security forces.

"The government claimed that the army killed thousands of 'terrorists' in the Sinai but allowed no independent observers into the conflict area, and residents said the army had killed an unknown number of civilians," it said in the report.