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Egypt’s army kills 4 more terrorrists in “Sinai 2018” operation

CAIRO: The Egyptian army killed four terrorists in restive North Sinai province northeastern the capital Cairo as part of Egypt’s recently launched “Sinai 2018” comprehensive anti-terror campaign, the military spokesman announced on Wednesday.
“The air forces destroyed eight targets used by the terrorist elements for sheltering and hiding from the forces assigned with the combing and raiding operations,” said military spokesman Tamer al Refaay in a statement.
The raids mark the 13th day of the large scale counterterror operation that started on Feb. 9 and killed so far a total of 71 terrorists, arrested five terror suspects, busted 1,836 wanted criminals and suspects and defused and ruined 392 explosive devices.
Until Wednesday, the campaign also ruined 1,292 terrorist dens, hideouts, huts and storehouses and seized and destroyed 103 four-by-four vehicles and 269 motorbikes used by the militants.
Also three soldiers have been killed and two others wounded in the “Sinai 2018” operation so far.
Bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, Egypt’s North Sinai province has been the center of terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers following the military ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests.
Attacks later expanded to reach several other provinces including Cairo and started to target the Coptic minority via church bombings and shootings.
Egypt’s terrorists did not stop at targeting security personnel and Copts, as they stormed a mosque in North Sinai’s Arish city last November, killing at least 310 Muslim worshippers and injuring more than 120 others, which marks the deadliest terror attack and the first against a mosque in Egypt’s modern history.
Most of the terror attacks were carried out by the Sinai based branch of the Islamic State (IS) regional terrorist group, yet none claimed responsibility for the mosque attack.
Following the mosque attack, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi ordered the army to restore security and stability in North Sinai within three months.
The Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested thousands of suspects during the country’s anti-terror war declared by Sisi, the army chief then, following Morsi’s ouster in 2013.
The comprehensive anti-terror operation “Sinai 2018” comes weeks before Egypt starts its 2018 presidential elections scheduled for late March, where incumbent President Sisi is expected to make an easy win for a second term due to the lack of strong contenders in the race.

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