10 militants killed in Desert Storm operation in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula
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10 militants killed in Desert Storm operation in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula

El Arish : Egypt | Jul 29, 2013 at 6:29 AM PDT
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Egyptian Army Offensive Against Sinai Islamists: Egyptian troops reportedly kill 10 Sinai militants

Egyptian security forces announced Sunday, that it killed 10 militants and captured 20 others in an operation in the Sinai Peninsula over the past 48 hours, state news agency MENA reported.

"Security operations carried out by the armed forces and police in north Sinai to hunt down armed terrorists...(resulted) in the liquidation of 10 of these armed terrorist elements," the agency said, citing a security source.

"The forces also managed to capture 20 of these elements," it added.

Security sources also said that the arrested suspects have been transferred to Cairo for interrogations.

Also on Sunday, unknown assailants fired rocket-propelled grenades at Egyptian forces on an army camp in Rafah, killing one soldier, an army source said adding that assailants also attacked eight other army checkpoints in the el-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, injuring eight soldiers.

Meanwhile, gunmen fired US-made ballistic shells at a security building in north Sinai, Egypt's Ministry of Interior said.

"Terrorists targeted the security directorate of north of Sinai from a long distance," according to the Ministry of Interior.

Anadolu Agency reported eyewitnesses saying that security forces dropped off by army helicopters staged a raid against number of people from the North Sinai city of Sheikh Zuweid early Saturday.

The airborne operation was the first in the area by army troops, according to witnesses.

In a significant development, Egypt's State Information Services reported that sixty sheikhs who are the representatives of the Bedouin tribes in the Sinai Peninsula have signed a document mandating the armed forces to combat terrorism. They also expressed their full support to Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and rejected any violation of law.

Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip, has been the scene of increasing violence since the military ousted Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president on July 3.

On Friday, security forces and the armed forces began a special military operation against those suspected of involvement in recent attacks on security checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula. They also decided to clear out more than 50 terrorist compounds located mostly in the northern and central parts of the peninsula.

Elsewhere, one person was killed and 28 others wounded Sunday in clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted Morsi in the coastal city of Port Said, Aswat Masriya reported.

The man was allegedly shot during a protest that followed a funeral march held for a civilian killed on Friday night, amid clashes between police and protesters in Rabaa al-Adawiya square in northern Cairo.

In the meantime, Egypt’s interim President Adli Mansour has given the interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi the power to grant the army the right to arrest civilians.

It is worth mentioning that giving military officers the power to arrest was opposed by most Egyptians along with human rights activists. However, one of the demands of the January 2011 revolution against President Hosni Mubarak, was to cancel this law.

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Ten militants killed in Desert Storm operation in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula
Army officers last week inspected an area in El Arish.Reuters
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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