Egypt's army kills 10, arrests 400 in Sinai operation

Insurgency poses greatest challenge to the government in a country that is the most populous in Arab World

Reuters February 13, 2018
A US-made Egyptian army Apache attack helicopters flies from an airfield in an operation against militant hideouts in the insurgency-wracked North Sinai. PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces killed 10 militants in an exchange of fire and arrested 400 suspects, including foreigners, in a continuing crackdown in Sinai, the army said in a statement carried by state TV on Tuesday.

Based on army statements, around 38 militants have been killed since the latest offensive to crush insurgents blamed for a string of attacks began.

Deadly mosque attack puts Egypt Sinai strategy in spotlight

Egypt launched a major security operation on Friday involving the army and police against "terrorist and criminal elements and organisations" across the country, according to the army spokesperson.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is seeking re-election in March, ordered the armed forces in November to defeat militants within three months after an attack on a mosque killed more than 300 people, the deadliest such violence in the Arab world's most populous country.

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The insurgency poses the greatest challenge to the government in a country that is both the most populous in the Arab World and a main regional ally of the United States. Sisi was elected for his first term in 2014 after the army ousted President Mohamed Mursi following mass protests against his rule.