Egyptian government forces have carried out separate operations in the violence-plagued Sinai Peninsula, killing more than a dozen Takfiri militants.
A local security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday that army tanks and artillery units pounded the bases of Velayat Sinai militants, previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, located about 334 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of the capital, Cairo, on Friday, killing 15 extremists.
The source added that another 20 militants sustained injuries during the operations.
Egyptian security personnel also arrested 115 terrorist suspects in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, the border town of Rafah, located 340 kilometers (211 miles) east of Cairo, as well as the city of el-Arish, situated 344 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of the capital.
The Egyptian military views the Sinai Peninsula a sanctuary for extremists, who use the volatile region as safe haven.
Gunmen have intensified terrorist attacks in Sinai ever since Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was toppled in a military coup led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s current president and the then army commander, in July 2013.
Velayat Sinai terrorists have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks in the Sinai Peninsula. Last November, the group pledged allegiance to the ISIL terrorist group, which is wreaking havoc primarily in Iraq and neighboring Syria.
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