Egypt army says 19 Islamic militants killed in Sinai ground and air operations
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Egypt army says 19 Islamic militants killed in Sinai ground and air operations

Military says 5 soldiers killed or wounded in operations last week, as security forces battle local affiliate of Islamic State

An Egyptian soldier mans a checkpoint in el-Arish, 290 kilometers (180 miles) east of Cairo, North Sinai, Egypt, January 31, 2015 (AP Photo)
An Egyptian soldier mans a checkpoint in el-Arish, 290 kilometers (180 miles) east of Cairo, North Sinai, Egypt, January 31, 2015 (AP Photo)

CAIRO — Egypt’s military said it had killed 19 militants in targeted ground and air operations as part of its battle to quell a long-running Islamist insurgency in north Sinai.

Five soldiers were killed or wounded in the operations last week, according to the online video statement Saturday, which did not specify the number of military fatalities.

The video, replete with a dramatic score, said troops had killed three “extremely dangerous” militants as well as 16 others in precision airstrikes on their “terrorist hideouts.”

“Two officers, a non-commissioned officer and two soldiers were killed and wounded in the operations,” the statement said.

Troops had recovered troves of automatic rifles, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades in possession of the militants, the army added.

Security forces have been battling a long-running Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt’s northeast that is spearheaded by a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.

The fighting intensified after the military’s 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was replaced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

In February 2018, authorities launched a nationwide operation against militants, focused on north Sinai.

Around 970 suspected militants have been killed in the region along with dozens of security personnel, according to official figures.

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