Egyptian army raids militant hideouts in North Sinai
Published Sunday 02/02/2014 12:56
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- The Egyptian army on Saturday carried out raids against alleged militants in Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and el-Arish in the North Sinai Peninsula, a military spokesman said.
Ahmad Muhammad Ali said in a statement that Egyptian forces demolished four smuggling tunnels under the borders with the Gaza Strip in Rafah.
He added that 30 barrels of explosives were seized.
Separately, Egyptian security said that two gunmen allegedly affiliated to the al-Qaeda inspired Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group were killed in al-Faytat village near Sheikh Zuweid.
Ten others were arrested in al-Muaqata village south of Sheikh Zuweid, and several houses were demolished in the same village.
Egyptian armed forces launched large scale military action against militants in the Sinai Peninsula earlier in September, in what officials described as the largest mobilization of force in the area since the 1973 war with Israel.
The military action comes in the wake of rising instability and almost daily attacks in the region, following a July 3 coup by the Egyptian military which unseated President Mohamed Morsi.
Since then, Muslim Brotherhood activists have held weekly demonstrations in protest against the coup, while the army has consolidated its grip on power and violently repressed protests against its rule.
At the same time, Wahhabi militant groups have stepped up a violent campaign of attacks against the government, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula.