Egypt army says 20 extremists killed in operations

Published: Updated:

Egypt’s army said Wednesday it has killed 20 extremists in the latest round of military operations in the Western Desert and Sinai Peninsula.

The military launched a sweeping operation in February focused on Sinai in eastern Egypt aimed at wiping out militants, including from ISIS extremist group, who have been waging a bloody insurgency.

Operations over the past few days had “resulted in the elimination of seven extremely dangerous” militias close to Egypt’s western border with Libya, the army said in a statement.

It said 13 militants were also killed in shootouts with government forces during army raids in central and northern Sinai.

Security forces in Sinai had arrested 18 wanted suspected militants and destroyed 18 hideouts.

On Sunday, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on an Egyptian police checkpoint in northern Sinai, the group’s Amaq news agency reported, saying 15 soldiers were killed or wounded in what it described as an infiltration operation.

Since 2013, extremists have been launching attacks, mainly concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula but militants have also struck elsewhere across the country.

The military says around 300 suspected extremists and at least 35 soldiers have been killed in the “Sinai 2018” operation.