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Egyptian army kills eight Sinai ‘jihadists’

Cairo dispatches additional troops to restive peninsula after tensions grow between Islamists, government

Illustrative: Egyptian soldiers in an armored vehicle in northern Sinai, May 2013. (AP)
Illustrative: Egyptian soldiers in an armored vehicle in northern Sinai, May 2013. (AP)

CAIRO — Eight suspected jihadists were killed in a shootout in Egypt’s Sinai, the army said Monday, as more troops were deployed to the peninsula where a car bomb killed dozens last week.

Seven “terrorists and criminals” were arrested after the shootout, which took place on Sunday in north Sinai, an army statement said, without specifying exactly where the fighting occurred.

The military’s announcement on its official Facebook page comes after a suicide car bombing at a military checkpoint in north Sinai killed at least 30 troops on Friday.

The bombing was one of the deadliest attacks targeting security forces since the army ousted president Mohammed Morsi last year.

The military said additional forces were fanning out across the rugged peninsula, accompanied by special police units.

The authorities have imposed a three-month curfew in some parts of north Sinai in response to the bombing, which President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said was carried out with the help of “external powers.”

The army has poured troops and armor into north Sinai to crush an insurgency that has raged since Morsi’s ouster.

Jihadists, who have killed scores of security personnel, say their attacks are retaliation for the wide-scale government crackdown against Morsi’s supporters.

The crackdown has left at least 1,400 people dead and more than 15,000 jailed.

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