Egypt: Anti-IS operation kills 16 jihadists

Egypt Launches New Sinai Security Effort Amid Reports of Israeli Help

The army destroyed 66 jihadist hideouts, 11 pickup vehicles and 31 motorbikes, he said in a statement. It covers north and central Sinai, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.

The military has launched security campaigns in the North Sinai area, in which some terrorists are based.

A total of 16 militants were killed, it said, and four militants were captured.

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The air force also discovered and destroyed an explosives-making laboratory and a communications centre, as well as six cannabis and opium fields, he said.

The Salafi Call, the parent organisation of Egypt's Salafist Nour Party, said terrorism in Egypt has become more risky than at any previous time and the threat is increasing.

Islamist insurgents have been targeting security forces since 2013 when the army led by Sisi, then the army chief, ousted President Mohamed Mursi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, following mass protests against his rule.

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The footage highlights the Egyptian military's top-of-the-line weaponry, including French Rafale fighters, US F-16 fighter-bombers, US Apache attack helicopters, a modern EADS transport aircraft, the Casa C-295, and US twin-rotored Chinook helicopters.

On November 29, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave the military a three-month deadline to clear the Sinai Peninsula of militants, days after terrorists staged a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in northern Sinai that killed over 300 worshippers.

"The armed forces and the police assert their determination to uproot terrorism and to achieve peace and stability", Rifai said, according to the statement.

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The comprehensive anti-terror operation "Sinai 2018" comes weeks before Egypt starts its 2018 presidential elections scheduled for late March, where incumbent President Sisi is expected to make an easy win for a second term due to the lack of strong challengers in the race.

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