Egypt’s armed forces announced the arrest of 14 alleged militants and destruction of 30 “terrorist hideouts” in an area south of Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai on Tuesday.
The situation in the area has remained tenuous since two separate attacks killed at least 30 soldiers on 24 October.
“Nothing has improved. There are still killings and incidents every day,” said an official at the North Sinai security directorate, requesting to remain anonymous.
Two mortars rounds were fired at a security checkpoint in Rafah on Tuesday, according to state-owned Al-Ahram. No injuries or losses were reported.
The armed forces said the arrests and the destruction of militant hideouts were part of a “security campaign” in Al-Arish, Rafah, and Sheikh Zuweid. They added that they will investigate the 14 individuals arrested to “make sure of the extent to which they may be involved in terrorist attacks”.
The armed forces previously announced they had killed eight “terrorist elements”, and arrested thirteen others on Saturday in North Sinai.
The counter-insurgency campaign intensified after the deadly 24 October attacks, with the armed forces setting up additional checkpoints and arresting dozens of people in the area between Arish and Rafah.
At the end of October, the military forced Rafah residents living within 500 metres of the border with Gaza to relocate. The military then demolished homes in order to establish a “secure zone” in the area, to destroy all underground smuggling tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip.
By 3 November, 1,156 families had been forced out of their homes with the promise of compensation from the government.