46 suspected jihadists killed in Sinai clashes: Egypt army

AFP Cairo, Egypt Mar 11, 2019, 06.01 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

The 'extremely dangerous' militants were killed in shootouts in north and central Sinai, the army said in a statement read on state television, without specifying when the clashes took place.

Egypt's army on Monday said  46 suspected jihadists were killed in clashes in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where troops are fighting the Islamic State group.

The "extremely dangerous" militants were killed in shootouts in north and central Sinai, the army said in a statement read on state television, without specifying when the clashes took place.

About 100 "criminal, wanted elements and suspects" were arrested, and security forces destroyed dozens of hideouts and vehicles used by the suspected jihadists during operations in the Sinai, the statement added.

Three soldiers also died in fighting in "various areas of operations", the army said but did not identify those locations.

The Sinai Peninsula is the epicentre of an insurgency spearheaded by the jihadist IS group which surged following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi after mass protests against his one-year rule.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against militants, mainly focused on the restive North Sinai region and the Western Desert, along the porous border with Libya. 

Some 600 militants and around 40 soldiers were killed since the start of the offensive, according to the armed forces.

But no independent statistics are available and the North Sinai is largely cut off to media and foreigners.