Egyptian forces kill 16 suspected militants

CAIRO� Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected militants in two raids in the city of Al-Arish in north Sinai, state media said Tuesday. The report came the day after an explosion in central Cairo killed three policemen.

Ten suspected militants were killed in the Obeidat district of Al-Arish and another six were killed in the Abu Eita district of the city, state-run Al-Ahram said.

An undisclosed quantity of weapons, ammunition and explosives were also found with the six in Abu Eita.

The two sides exchanged gunfire, it said without elaborating. It made no mention of any potential security forces casualties.

The explosion late Monday near Cairo’s famed tourist market Khan al-Khalili also wounded two policemen and a woman, officials said.

Summary

Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected militants in two raids in the city of Al-Arish in north Sinai, state media said Tuesday. The report came the day after an explosion in central Cairo killed three policemen.

The attack was a rarity for the central area of Egypt’s capital amid a yearslong security crackdown under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Since the 2013 ouster by the army of the elected Islamist president Mohammad Morsi, Egypt has been battling a persistent extremist insurgency, centered within the Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt has often announced the killing of militants during Operation Sinai 2018, but statements on significant losses by the security force have been rare.

The attack was a rarity for the central area of Egypt’s capital amid a yearslong security crackdown under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

The Interior Ministry said the attacker, 37-year-old al-Hassan Abdullah, blew himself up after police officers approached to arrest him. He was wanted in a bombing last Friday near a mosque in Cairo’s district of Giza and the police had been monitoring his movements, the statement said. The attacker’s affiliation was not known and no militant group claimed responsibility for the bombings.

The ministry had blamed members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood for last week’s attack, which it said targeted a security checkpoint and wounded three people.

Following Monday’s explosion, which shattered windows and blew curtains off nearby balconies, police and soldiers cordoned off the narrow streets around the bazaar.

A body, presumably of the attacker, covered with a white sheet stained with blood, was seen lying on the ground in the blocked-off area, close to Egypt’s renowned Al-Azhar mosque.

In a house nearby, police found a bomb and bomb-making material, which prompted the evacuation of the whole building, security officials said.

Since the 2013 ouster by the army of the elected Islamist president Mohammad Morsi, Egypt has been battling a persistent extremist insurgency, centered within the Sinai Peninsula.

In February 2018, security forces launched a major operation against the local affiliate of the Islamic State group, which has been mainly focused on the volatile North Sinai province but has also targeted extremist cells elsewhere in and around the country.

Egypt has often announced the killing of militants during Operation Sinai 2018, but statements on significant losses by the security force have been rare.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK