A senior Egyptian official told local media Saturday that as part of its anti-terror campaign in Sinai over the last month, the Egyptian army has arrested 90 suspected terrorists, 7 of whom were West Bank Palestinians, and that 60 armed militants were killed, including 30 Palestinians.
The unnamed official also noted that a 300-ton container of fuel intended for the Gaza Strip was destroyed in the operation, as were additional 40 smaller containers of diesel, and fuel pumps.
After the deposition of president Mohammed Morsi a month ago, the Egyptian army began a major clampdown to cleanse Sinai from the continued influx of foreign fighters into the peninsula. Sinai had long been considered a haven for jihadi fighters who used it as a base for terror activity.
Since Morsi’s overthrow, there has been escalating violence in Sinai, leaving more than a dozen Egyptian security forces and at least five civilians dead.
The Muslim Brotherhood has denied playing a part in the escalating violence, but one of the group’s leaders was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the insurgent attacks would end as soon as “the legitimate president” is freed from detention.
According to Egyptian intelligence, there were at least 500 armed extremists operating in the peninsula at the end of July, Al Ahram reported.
Adiv Sterman and Lazar Berman contributed to this report.