Security forces stand guard in Alexandria, Egypt on January 25, 2016 – Reuters/Asmaa Waguih
CAIRO - 17 January 2019: A force of Egypt's National Security Agency raided a terrorist hideout in North Sinai's capital of Arish, and managed to kill five terror elements after fire exchange, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The elements planned to carry out a series of terrorist attacks on critical targets including prominent figures, the Interior Ministry said.
While raiding the terrorists' hideout, elements started firing heavily at the police forces, according to the statement. The police forces dealt with the armed elements and managed to kill five terrorists.
A number of three automatic rifles, a machine gun, an explosive device and an explosive belt were seized following the raid, the ministry added.
In February 2018, and under the title "Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018," Egypt's Armed Forces launched a comprehensive military operation targeting the hotbeds of terrorists in Northern and Central Sinai.
Sinai, in particular, has been a staging ground for militants operating in Egypt for decades. It is also believed to be home to the Islamic State’s Egyptian branch, which has been primarily targeting civilians and security forces.
In November, the National Security announced killing 12 terrorists after monitoring a group of terrorist elements in one of the deserted neighborhoods in Arish. A number of firearms and improvised explosive devices as well as an amount of ammunition were reportedly found in possession of the terrorist elements.
On October 25, Military spokesperson Tamer al-Rifai told Sky News that the military forces succeeded in destroying the infrastructure of terrorist groups in Sinai.