Egyptian army airstrikes kill 15 in Sinai

Egyptian army airstrikes kill 15 in Sinai
Tue Sep 3, 2013 16:35:19

Egypt military helicopters have killed 15 militants and wounded 15 others in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula, where the army has been battling a semi-insurgency, security sources have said.

The strikes near the Rafah border crossing with the Palestinian Gaza Strip began Tuesday morning and were ongoing, the sources said, adding that they were targeting extremists hiding in the area.

The Sinai has long been considered a safe haven for militants who use the region as a base for terror activities. In recent months, the remote desert region has been the scene of growing violence and militant attacks on security forces.

On August 19, militants ambushed a police convoy in the northern region of Sinai. At least 25 policemen were killed in the attack, which took place close to the town of Rafah on the Gaza border. It was one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in decades.

In August 2012, sixteen Egyptian soldiers were killed in an attack on a police station near the border with Gaza.

In response, Cairo launched an offensive against terrorists in Sinai, sending thousands of troops backed by tanks and heavy equipment into the region.

Since the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, militant groups have launched almost daily attacks there, killing several members of security forces.


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