Egypt army says 89 insurgents killed in restive Sinai

Sunday August 01 2021
Egypt pic

Members of the Egyptian army stand guard outside the venue of a conference for defence ministers and officials of the 27 members of CEN-SAD in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on March 24, 2016. PHOTO | AFP

By AFP

Cairo. Egypt's military said Sunday it has killed 89 suspected insurgents in operations in North Sinai, a region where an affiliate of the Islamic State group has been active for nearly a decade.

"Amid ongoing efforts in pursuing and defeating terrorist elements... during the previous period, the armed forces... carried out operations that killed 89 dangerous takfiris... in northern Sinai," the army spokesperson said.

His statement, using the term "takfiri" to refer to extremist Islamist militants, did not specify a timeframe for the operations, but said the army had suffered eight casualties.

The army also said it destroyed 404 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), four explosive belts and 13 tunnels used by militants to infiltrate Egyptian territory.

Gruesome pictures of some of the slain suspected militants were published with the statement, along with a trove of confiscated weapons.

Egyptian forces have for years fought an insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, led mainly by the local branch of the Islamic State group.

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Attacks have multiplied since the army's 2013 ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since February 2018, the authorities have been conducting a nationwide operation against Islamist militants, mainly focused on North Sinai and the country's Western Desert.

Around 1060 suspected militants and dozens of security personnel have been killed in the Sinai, according to official figures.

No independently-sourced death toll is available as North Sinai is off-limits to journalists.