Sinai province militants killed in clashes with Egyptian army

Published March 30th, 2016 - 09:33 GMT
An Egyptian soldier in the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP/File)
An Egyptian soldier in the Sinai Peninsula. (AFP/File)

The Egyptian army launched artillery attacks against Islamist militants affiliated with the Sinai Province group on Tuesday evening, reportedly killing 53 and injuring 50 south of Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian military sources said.

The sources told Ma'an that the military attacks targeted a stronghold of Sinai Province militants in the Sayyalat al-Bawatin area of the village of al-Barth south of Rafah.

The sources added that the Egyptian army destroyed several four-wheel-drive vehicles used by the militants.
Egyptian troops also clashed with a group of militants in the village of Balaa south of Rafah, leading to three militants killed and nine detained.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses told Ma'an that residents found more than 100 corpses in a ditch in the desert south of Rafah.
The Egyptian army said the corpses were those of Sinai Province-affiliated militants who were killed during clashes with Egyptian forces in the past three days.

The Egyptian military sources added that Egyptian soldiers dismantled four roadside bombs south of the city of Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai.

Militant groups in the Sinai have gained prominence in recent years, launching a growing number of attacks against Egyptian security forces since Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi took power from democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

The Egyptian president came under attack following his violent suppression of Muslim Brotherhood members following his rise to power, which al-Sisi has argued is necessary to deter future attacks in the Sinai and across Egypt.

Beit Ansar al-Maqdis, the militant group responsible for a majority of attacks on military personnel, aligned with the Daesh group in November 2014, changing its name to Sinai Province.

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