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Egyptian air force kills 17 militants 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)
This file photo shows an Egyptian military helicopter in flight over the Sinai Peninsula. (By Reuters)

More than a dozen Takfiri militants in Egypt have reportedly been killed in military assaults against their positions in the North African country’s restive Sinai Peninsula.

A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said fighter jets targeted a training camp for members of the Velayat Sinai militant group south of the border town of Rafah, located 340 kilometers (211 miles) east of the capital, Cairo, early on Wednesday, leaving 17 extremists dead, Sky News Arabia reported.

The development came only two days after two police officers were killed and five others injured when a roadside bomb explosion struck their armored vehicle west of the city of el-Arish, situated 344 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of the capital.

On March 5, Egyptian military commando forces, known in Egypt as Sa’ka (Thunderbolt) forces, raided a militant base south of the town of Sheikh Zuweid, situated 334 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of Cairo, engaging the extremists holed up inside the base. Five Takfiri terrorists were killed in the raid.

The 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.

Velayat Sinai terrorists have carried out 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 mainly wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

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