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Egyptian forces kill 12 militants, arrest over three dozens in Sinai Peninsula

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo, Egyptian army forces patrol a street in the border town of Rafah, along the border with the besieged Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Government forces in Egypt have killed 12 Takfiri militants and arrested more than three dozen others during security raids in the volatile Sinai Peninsula of the North African country.

At least 12 members of the Takfiri Velayat Sinai terrorist group were killed and 10 others injured during operations south of the border town of Rafah, located 340 kilometers (211 miles) east of the capital, Cairo, Sada el-Balad news website reported.

Egyptian troopers also engaged the extremists south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, situated 334 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of the capital, and detained 38 of them.

Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, following a deadly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 33 soldiers.

Over the past years, militants have been carrying out anti-government activities and deadly attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil caused in Egypt after democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July 2013.

Militants from the Takfiri Velayat Sinai group, previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, mainly targeting the army and police. In November 2014, the group pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is wreaking havoc in Iraq, Syria and in Libya.

The government in Cairo views the volatile region as a safe haven for terrorists.


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