Army Kills 10 “Terrorists” and “Criminals” in Past Two Days in Sinai – Spokesman

Egypt’s armed forces killed 10 “terrorists” and “criminals” during security raids in North Sinai on Thursday and Friday, its spokesman announced on Saturday.

The announcement comes shortly after Egypt’s most dangerous militant group, the Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for an attack on a security checkpoint in Sinai on October 24 which left at least 30 security personnel killed.

Armed Forces Spokesman Mohamed Samir added in a statement that security forces also arrested 54 “terrorists” and “criminals” in the the governorates of North Sinai, Ismailia and Daqahliyah.

Security forces also destroyed six headquarters and 94 shacks belonging to “terrorists”, Samir said.

Militants have stepped up attacks targeting security forces in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the army’s ouster of President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which followed mass protests against his rule.

At least 30 military personnel were killed in a suicide blast which targeted a security checkpoint in Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid on October 24, in the worst militant attack since Mursi’s ouster. Shortly afterwards, a separate attack by unidentified gunmen on a security checkpoint in al-Arish killed three more security personnel.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency and a nighttime curfew in parts of the Sinai Peninsula in response to the deadly attacks.

In a video released on its twitter account on Friday night, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis purported how the attack was allegedly carried out.

The video shows a suicide bomber who allegedly detonates a car driving through the checkpoint. Masked gunmen are then seen reaching what the group identifies as the scene of the explosion, shooting dead those who survived the first attack.

Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis previously claimed responsibility for several attacks against Egypt’s security forces after Mursi’s ouster in July 2013, including an attempt in September, 2013 to assassinate the interior minister as well as several attacks targeting security headquarters and convoys.

The militant group pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria last Monday.

Islamic State fighters have controlled large areas of Iraq and Syria recently. They have carried out a number of mass executions and recently beheaded two American journalists and two British nationals.

Source : Aswat Masriya