Egypt Independent

Egypt’s army kills 21 militants, arrests 232 suspects in Central, North Sinai



As a continuation to the ongoing wide-scale military operation ‘Comprehensive Sinai 2018’ conducted by the Egyptian Armed Forces to eliminate the presence of the IS [Islamic State] affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’, the official spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces said in a recent statement that 21 IS militants were killed in Central and North Sinai.

The 21st statement released by the army’s official spokesperson added that six IS militants were arrested while they were seizing weapons and explosives. Moreover, 232 suspects were also arrested and referred to prosecution to for investigations.

The statement explained that army forces destroyed 391 IS militants’ stationing points employed for hiding and storing administrative and medical needs, weapons, ammunition, mines, tents, and materials used in manufacturing improvised explosive devices. In addition, 15 tunnels were destroyed used by militants to transfer vehicles and weapons.

In February, the Egyptian Armed Forces have engaged with police forces in a wide military scale operation around Egypt and mainly centralized in Sinai Peninsula to eliminate the presence of IS. The operation in Sinai is conducted by both the Second and Third Field armies.

The IS affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province’ is mainly active in the areas of North and Central Sinai since 2014, the group has been previously known as the ‘Ansar Byat El Maqdus’ and was established with purposes to target the Egyptian Armed Forces as the group’s ideology is based on considering the army and police forces as apostates who should be killed for the sake of paving the way to establish Islamic Caliphate.

With the rise of the IS [Islamic State] in Iraq and Syria during 2014, the ‘Ansar Byat El Maqdus’ declared its affiliation to IS and changed its name from ‘Ansar Byat El Maqdus’ to ‘Sinai Province’, this step was followed by massive and unprecedented attacks conducted by militants from the group against the army and police stationing points based in Sinai Peninsula.

In response to attacks, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched number of military operations prior to the ‘Comprehensive Sinai 2018’ , these operations went on under the name of ‘Martyr Right’ and witnessed the elimination of hundreds militants who are serving as members in ‘Sinai Province’.