Following the attack that left five policemen killed on Friday when militants ambushed and attacked a security squad in the city of Badrashin in Giza, security forces have launched a retaliation campaign against suspected militants.
The Ministry of Interior announced that six militants were killed in two separate incidents in Giza and Ismaillia.
In Giza, the ministry said it spotted a meeting by members of the Hasm militant group. The forces ambushed the suspects, killing two of them. The statement said that the dead militants possessed weapons and money. Investigations revealed that there were active participants in Hasm.
The statement also mentioned that the two suspects were wanted in different terrorism-related cases.
The second operation took place in Ismaillia, when police forces attacked a location allegedly used by militant suspects in the deserted area of Gelbana. The operation resulted in the killing of four militants, who allegedly participated in different attacks on army and police headquarters and checkpoints.
The assailants in the Badrashin incident used a motorcycle to execute the attack. The five victims were three conscripts and two low-ranking officers. The Badrashin area witnessed similar attacks with the same technique. This draws criticism to the effectiveness of stable checkpoints, claiming that it it easy for militants to target security personnel, as they are exposed from all sides.
In a different context, the military spokesperson announced Sunday that three militants were killed during clashes with the third field army in central Sinai.
The statement said that the military forces destroyed five nests where extremists were hiding. The forces detonated a bomb that was alleged to be used in an attack on the army. The military found and destroyed a vehicle holding the militants.
In the same context on Saturday, security forces arrested 17 wanted criminals in North Sinai. They were arrested in a security operation by the entrances and exits of the North Sinai governorate. The operations targeted wanted criminals who have received judicial verdicts, according to a statement issued by the North Sinai Security Directorate.
“Several security operations have been executed in North Sinai. These covert operations have resulted in the arrest of 17 wanted criminals who are wanted according to judicial verdicts,” the statement read.
Since 2013, state security forces, represented by both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, a group previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation with the Islamic State (IS) and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the last two years, the Egyptian armed forces have launched counterattacks against militants’ stationing points across the Sinai peninsula, where the group is based in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.
A state of emergency was first declared in North Sinai by interim president Adly Mansour, who came into power following ousted president Mohamed Morsi. It has been extended following this year’s extremist attacks on Coptic churches on Palm Sunday.