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Egypt's Military Touts Anti-Terror Operation With Top-Line Weapons, Boats

12 February 2018

Egypt says it has killed 16 Islamist militants in an operation in Sinai in the north-east of the country.

Egypt's Salafi Call, a group of ultra-orthodox Salafi Muslims, said it is backing Egypt's army it its battle against terrorism, two days after a major counterterrorism operation focused on Sinai was launched.

The authenticity and date of the 23-minute video could not immediately be verified, but a reference to an Egyptian military statement on Friday suggested that at least part of it was completed after the security operation began.

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They added that the dead bodies of the 10 militants have been moved to a hospital in nearby Ismailia province.

Army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said 16 jihadists had been killed and 34 detained during a "sweep and northern and central Sinai".

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

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In November, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the military forces to restore security in Sinai within three months after militants killed more than 300 worshippers at a mosque.

The group generally targets Egyptian security forces in northern Sinai but also claimed an attack on a tourist site in southern Sinai in April of a year ago. Members of the armed forces are barred by law from expressing political opinions in Egypt. Konsowa said he had submitted his resignation to the army in 2014 and it was denied.

In December, militants launched another attack, firing a missile at a helicopter that was part of the entourage of Egypt's defence and interior ministers, who were in the provincial capital El Arish on an unannounced visit.

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The comprehensive anti-terror operation "Sinai 2018" comes weeks before Egypt starts its 2018 presidential elections scheduled for late March, where incumbent President Sisi is expected to make an easy win for a second term due to the lack of strong challengers in the race.

Egypt's Military Touts Anti-Terror Operation With Top-Line Weapons, Boats