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Egyptian security forces kill 12 Islamist terrorists in Sinai

Official news agency says fighting erupted when forces raided hideout in el-Arish; troops dismantled explosive devices, seized weapons during the operation

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)

Egypt’s official news agency said Sunday that security forces have killed at least 12 Islamist terrorists in a shootout in northern Sinai Peninsula.

The report by MENA says the fighting erupted when forces raided a suspected terrorist hideout in the city of el-Arish. It says troops also dismantled two explosive devices and seized weapons during the raid.

MENA didn’t say when the raid took place or whether any members of the security forces were killed or wounded. Egypt heavily restricts media access to the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt has battled terrorists for years but the Sinai-based insurgency gained strength after the 2013 overthrow of the country’s elected but divisive Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

In February, Egypt launched a massive operation against terrorists in Sinai and elsewhere in the country.

In May, residents in the south of Israel were warned by local councils that the Egyptian military was planning to carry out “extraordinarily massive attacks” near the Egyptian-Israeli-Gazan border across from the southern edge of the Gaza Strip.

The planned Egyptian assault appeared to be intended to target the Islamic State terror group’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula.

In June the Islamic State terrorist group said one of the leaders of its affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula was killed. The jihadist group’s Aamaq news agency issued an announcement about the death of Abu Jaafar al-Maqdesi, calling him a martyr.

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