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August 12, 2018 10:38 am

Egyptian Forces Kills 12 Suspected Militants in Sinai: Agency

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

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A look into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula from the Israeli side of the border. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Egyptian security forces have killed 12 suspected militants in raids on their hideouts in north Sinai, state news agency MENA reported on Sunday, the latest in a campaign to uproot armed Islamists behind a wave of violence in the area.

The deaths raised to at least 325 the number of suspected militants killed in the Sinai campaign which began in February, according to a Reuters count based on military statements. At least 35 military personnel have also been killed.

The state news agency said security forces came under fire when they raided a walled compound in al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, without giving a time frame for the incident.

It said the raiding forces responded in kind and 12 suspected militants were killed in the shootout. The authorities were trying to verify their identities.

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Five rifles, four of them automatic guns, were recovered from the scene as well as some ammunition and two ready-to-use bombs, MENA said.

There were no reports of casualties among security forces.

Egypt’s President Sisi was re-elected in March in a landslide victory against one opponent seen as a token candidate. His critics say his presidency has brought a harsh crackdown on dissent, but supporters argue the measures are needed to stabilize Egypt, which was rocked by years of unrest after protests toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

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