The Egyptian Armed Forces announced on Sunday morning that it succeeded in killing 14 militants during operations that targeted militant stationing points in some villages in the North Sinai cities of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah.
According to an official statement issued by the army’s spokesperson, Mohamed Samir, the security sweeps were carried out in cooperation with army and police forces.
“The armed forces, in co-operation with the police and Special Forces, is continuing its strict operations inside north and central Sinai, where the forces killed 14 militants and destroyed their stationing point,” the statement read.
The militants that were killed are believed to be members of the Islamic State (IS)-affiliated group “Sinai Province”.
During clashes, the targeted militants hid in fortified tunnels and shelters that are located in surrounding farms and buildings; however, army and police forces were able to eliminate these tunnels and destroy five shelters, according to the statement.
The assigned forces to curbing militant activity in North Sinai also detonated 10 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that targeted security and army personnel.
Since 2013, state security forces represented in both the army and police have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to IS and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish in North Sinai.
Despite numerous statements issued by the armed forces on mass killings of militants, the group still represents a “chronic headache” to the current regime.