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Three militants killed, 74 arrested in Egypt’s raids in Sinai

The file photo shows Egyptian security forces during an anti-terror operation in the west of the country.

Egyptian military has launched a major counter-terrorism operation in the restive Sinai Peninsula, killing three militants and arresting 74 others.

Military spokesman Colonel Tamer el-Rifai said Thursday that a number of raids had been carried out on the hideouts of militants in Sinai earlier in the day.

He said the military had also managed to destroy five four-wheel-drive vehicles and four bomb-making workshops while ammunition and fuel stocks were also targeted in the raid.

Sinai has seen massive militancy since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi four years ago. Egypt has lost hundreds of its troops in the volatile region, where a branch of Daesh, a Takfiri terrorist group mainly active in Iraq and Syria, targets police posts as well as civilians.

The Egyptian military says hundreds of militants have been killed in the counter-terror operations in the region. However, the North African country still suffers from widespread militant attacks.

Some 16 police forces were killed last month when Egyptian forces launched an attack on militants in an area some 100 kilometers outside the capital, Cairo, in the western desert region. The government said militants that had entered Egypt from neighboring Libya, where various militant groups vie for power, were behind the attack on police forces.

Many blame the continued militancy in Egypt on policies of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former army chief who led the coup against Morsi in 2013.

Sisi’s administration has been tough on followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most prominent political party in Egypt which is now outlawed. Many members of the party, including Morsi, have been given harsh sentences while tens of thousands have been arrested awaiting trial.


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