Major assault launched against IS in Egypt

Mohamed El-Shahed—AFP

Mohamed El-Shahed—AFP

On the ground, special forces, working with police, conducted raids inside cities in Sinai to seize militants, military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai said.

Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) called on foreign reporters and representatives of foreign media outlets to abide by professional rules and only publish what is being released by the army in their coverage of the "Comprehensive Sinai 2018" military operation, launched on Friday.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is seeking re-election in March, ordered the armed forces in November to defeat militants within three months after an attack on a mosque killed more than 300 people.

The Egyptian Ministry of Defense said on February 9 it launched a military operation of unprecedented size to "crush terrorism" in the Sinai and secure points of entry into the country.

Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by extremists since the army in 2013 overthrew Mr El Sisi's predecessor, president Mohammed Morsi.

Egypt's army has pursued Islamic State group militants in the northern Sinai region for years, after numerous bomb and gun attacks on troops in the region.

They added that the dead bodies of the 10 militants have been moved to a hospital in nearby Ismailia province.

The statement says they discovered a communication center and six drug farms.

The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of past year. The attack was said to be the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt's modern history.

"Egypt has for decades suffered from a variety of terrorist attacks, but terrorism in recent years has taken a very risky turn", targeting all Egyptians, including the army and police, as well as churches, to provoke sedition between Muslims and Christians, and even mosques, the group said in its statement.

Latest News