21 fighters killed during raids in Sinai - Egypt Says

21 fighters killed during raids in Sinai - Egypt Says
Security forces found automatic weapons and suicide belts in the hideouts on Saturday

 

 

Egypt said on Saturday that 21 fighters were killed in clashes with security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where armed groups have waged a long-running rebellion.

 

The interior ministry said in a statement that police raided two hideouts of "terrorist elements" in North Sinai governorate, sparking a gun battle in which two officers were also wounded.

 

 

It said the two groups had been planning attacks during the major Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which started in Egypt on Sunday. Security forces found automatic weapons and suicide belts in the hideouts.

 

 

The military has for years battled the rebellion in the Sinai Peninsula - in Egypt's northeast - that is spearheaded by a local affiliate of the armed group ISIL (ISIS). The fighting intensified after the military's 2013 overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi.

 

 

In February 2018, security forces launched a nationwide operation against fighters focused on North Sinai. About 950 suspects have been killed in the region along with dozens of security personnel, according to official figures.