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Egypt army kills scores of 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)
File photo of an Egyptian soldier in Sinai Peninsula

The Egyptian military says it has killed scores of militants in the restive province of North Sinai, located in the country’s extreme northeast.

In an official statement on Friday, the Egyptian army said as many as 65 militants had been killed during military operations in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah in the province, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on its website.

Also on Friday, at least four policemen were killed when their vehicle went over a roadside bomb in el-Arish, the province’s capital. Several other policemen and civilians were reportedly injured in the incident.

The latest instance of violence comes after a military spokesman announced last October that Egyptian forces had gained “full control” over the three cities following successful raids against “terrorist strongholds” and weapon caches, the paper added.

Over the past several years, Egyptian troops have been engaged in efforts to quell rampant militancy across the Sinai Peninsula.

A member of the Egyptian security forces stands guard next to a damaged bus following a roadside bomb blast which on the outskirts of North Sinai’s provincial capital of Arish on July 9, 2015. ©AFP

The battle has led to the deaths of hundreds of troops and militants, including those with the Takfiri Velayat Sinai group.

Previously known as Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, the outfit has pledged allegiance to the Daesh terror group, which is mainly active in Iraq and Syria.

In October 2014, a state of emergency was declared across the whole peninsula following a deadly terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 33 soldiers.

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