Egypt's armed forces announced the death of 13 armed men in northern Sinai on Thursday on day 21 of operation ‘Sinai 2018’ aimed at eliminating terrorist factions in Sinai.
In their official statement aired on Egypt’s state-run television and on their official Facebook page, the army said that Egyptian air forces targeted and destroyed a number of terrorist factions after receiving information on their whereabouts.
“Two armed vehicles that are prepared to target armed forces in areas of operation were also destroyed,” they said in the statement.
They added that 100 terrorist shelters and warehouses were found and destroyed, including a number of trenches equipped with pistols, while ammunition, binoculars and military uniforms similar to those of the armed forces were found in several mountainous areas.
86 wanted terrorists were arrested following the gun battle, according to the armed forces’ statement, and legal procedures are being taken against them.
Six plantations of marijuana and poppies (used to make morphine and codeine) were also seized along with more than 5650 kilograms of narcotics.
Naval forces are securing vital locations along the coasts of Sinai, cutting off supply lines and attempts to smuggle terrorists out of the peninsula, the armed forces said.
‘Sinai 2018’ is a major operation against militants across swathes of territory, including the volatile region which has been at the heart of a persistent ISIS group insurgency.
The security sweeps in the Sinai, Nile Delta and Western Desert near the border with Libya comes as the country prepares for polls in which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is seeking re-election.