Egypt Continues Military Operations In Sinai Amid Reports Of Israeli Backing

Egypt Continues Military Operations In Sinai Amid Reports Of Israeli Backing

Additionally, the Air Force destroyed a total of 66 hideouts used by militants to carry out their attacks.

On Friday, the Egyptian army launched a large-scale military operation aimed to eliminate terrorism in Egypt's troubled Sinai region.

The operation will also target militants in the Nile Delta and in western Egypt.

Islamist insurgents have been targeting security forces since 2013 when the army, then led by Sisi as army chief, ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood following mass protests against his rule.

A video recording posted on social media, purportedly from a group affiliated to Islamic State, appeared to showed masked militants executing soldiers and civilians they accused of collaborating with security forces.

After a number of military offensives, the group is thought to have been weakened and switched from attacks on the military to softer targets such as mosques and Coptic Christian churches.

The campaign by the army, navy, air force, border patrol and police is taking place ahead of a March election in which Sisi is seeking a second term.

Four militants and 30 suspects were arrested, it adds.

Security forces also uncovered and destroyed six farms used to grow banned narcotics, the statement said.

Following the mosque attack, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the army to restore security and stability in North Sinai within three months.

"Egypt has for decades suffered from a variety of terrorist attacks, but terrorism in recent years has taken a very unsafe turn", targeting all Egyptians, including the army and police, as well as churches, to provoke sedition between Muslims and Christians, and even mosques, the group said in its statement.

The Salafi Call, the parent organisation of Egypt's Salafist Nour Party, said terrorism in Egypt has become more risky than at any previous time and the threat is increasing.

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