Egyptian crackdown on Sinai continues
A Hamas policeman stands guard along the border with Egypt and the Palestinian territory on September 8, 2013 in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah. The Egyptian army has launched a major offensive against militants in the area. (AFP)
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Egyptian army troops, tanks and helicopter gunships swept through villages in the northern Sinai peninsula, near the Palestinian Gaza strip, as it launched its third day of major offensives against suspected Islamic militants in the area.
At least 20 suspects were killed and 20 arrested in the previous two days of offensives, according to Associated Press figures.
An Egyptian military official speaking to AP said the army helicopters had struck the hideout of Al Qaeda-inspired militant groups early Monday morning in the southern town of Rafah, near the Palestinian border.
Along those killed or arrested, the official said a number of militants had fled to coastal villages whilst others tried to enter Gaza through the network of underground tunnels, usually used for smuggling goods, AP reported.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, according to AP.
Militant-sponsored violence rocked Sinai following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.