Egypt army to launch major raid on Sinai militants

Egypt army to launch major raid on Sinai militants
Sat Sep 6, 2014 15:00:15

Egyptian military forces have intensified their presence across northern Sinai peninsula in anticipation of a major governorate-wide raid on militant hideouts.

Local residents have stayed inside their houses in anticipation of the offensive that will consist of both ground and air operations, Egypt’s Ahram Online news website reported Friday, citing informed local sources.

According to the report, five main squares remain closed by security forces in the local cities of El-Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid.

The planned offensive comes in wake of an IED blast which killed 11 security and military officers in Sinai on Tuesday when it exploded underneath their vehicle.

Militant groups, the report adds, have expanded their activities in the peninsula in the past year, mainly targeting security forces. Egypt’s army, meanwhile, has been waging a major counter-offensive.

This while at least six decapitated bodies were found in North Sinai over the last two weeks, with militants claiming the killings as punishment for collaboration with the police and army.

The army has targeted militant hideouts with helicopters and ground troops, killing dozens in recent months.

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