Egyptian army 'kills 16 militants' in Sinai operation

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In the first part of 2017 IS stepped up attacks against Christians in Sinai and elsewhere in Egypt, claiming two deadly attacks on churches in Tanta and Alexandria on 9 April.

The Egyptian Ministry of Defense said on February 9 it launched a military operation of unprecedented size to "crush terrorism" in the Sinai and secure points of entry into the country.

Army spokesman Tamer Al Rifai said the extremists had been killed and detained during a "sweep and raids.in northern and central Sinai". Members of the armed forces are barred by law from expressing political opinions in Egypt. Konsowa said he had submitted his resignation to the army in 2014 and it was denied.

The military said its warplanes struck "terrorist concentrations and hideouts" in northern and central Sinai through the night and into the early hours of Saturday, targeting weapons warehouses and logistics support areas.

The Sinai peninsula, where Egypt's most active militants are based, borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.


Suspicion for that attack fell on an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) group in Sinai and Mr Sisi authorised troops to use "all brute force" necessary to restore "security and stability" to the region within three months.

North Sinai has been the center of terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers following the military removal of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests.

In November previous year, militants detonated a bomb inside a crowded mosque in the Sinai Peninsula and then sprayed gunfire on panicked worshippers as they fled, killing at least 305 people and wounding at least 128 others.

And last September Sissi met Netanyahu for the first time in public, the encounter coming ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

In a 2015 interview with The Washington Post, Sissi said he talked "a lot" with the Israeli prime minister, part of an effort to "reassure him that achieving peace (with the Palestinians) will be a historic deal for him and for Israel, and that we are ready to help reach this peace".

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