FILE- Egyptian Army’s armored vehicles on a highway to North Sinai - Reuters
CAIRO – 31 May 2020: The Egyptian Armed Forces late on Saturday announced killing 19 “takfiri” elements (terrorists) in military operations in North Sinai, a years-long hotbed of militant activity.
As a result of the operations, two officers, a non-commissioned officer and two soldiers were killed or injured, the army’s statement read, without clarifying the exact number of deaths among these five personnel.
Three “high risk” terrorists of the 19 takfiris were killed in two military operations, the statement said, adding that the forces could seize a number of automatic rifles, grenades and RPG rockets that the terrorists possessed.
The other 16 takfiris were killed in air strikes that targeted some terrorist hotbeds, according to the statement.
Military engineers could also detect and destroy five explosive devices that were planted to target the armed forces.
The forces managed to arrest a number of smugglers and seized a large number of weapons and ammunition, the statement said, without clarifying more details about their number. Also, a quantity of hemp and cannabis were detected.
The forces also seized a vehicle loaded with up to $200,000 in Al-Shahid Ahmed Hamdy tunnel under the Suez Canal, according to the statement. The statement, however, did not name the legal offense the vehicle driver is facing.
Egypt, under President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has declared a war against terrorism and extremism ideologies over the past years since the ousting of late Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi.
Several military operations have been carried out in Sinai against terrorists, as many Egyptian officers and soldiers were killed.
Since February 2018, the Egyptian Army has launched a comprehensive offensive against terrorist elements and facilities in various parts of the country, especially in North Sinai.