Army units affiliated to the second field army launched a military sweeping operation on Tuesday in some regions in North Sinai that left six militants killed. The campaign targeted militants and other suspects who are involved in terrorising civilians in North Sinai’s cities.
According to the statement that was released by the official spokesperson of the army, the Air Forces struck against four stationing points associated with militants; other forces also discovered and destroyed two tunnels inside the city of Rafah.
“Army forces also managed to blow up a storage that contained motorbikes used by militants, as well as detonating four Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) that had been prepared to be used against army and police forces moving around North Sinai,” the army spokesperson’s statement read.
Meanwhile, the continuous sweeping operations of the army inside the city of Al-Arish targeted areas used by the militants as stationing points and centres from where they launched their attacks, a North Sinai journalist told Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity.
“The sweeping operation continued through a number of farms inside the city of Al-Arish that were regularly used as hiding places for militants, who are believed to be members of the IS affiliated group of ‘Sinai Province.’ The operation resulted in the injury of an army officer and five other conscripts due to an IED explosion that targeted their armoured vehicle.”
Recently, the violent acts carried out by ‘Sinai Province’ inside the city of Al-Arish have reached its peak when many Copts have been targeted and were burnt, shot, or slaughtered.
Following this unprecedented wave of violence, nearly 100 Coptic families decided to abandon the tumultuous city due to receiving direct threats and being warned by the militants associated with ‘Sinai Province’ that not leaving the city will get them killed.
Since 2013, state security forces represented in both the army and the 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 checkpoint.
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.