Egypt's Sinai anti-terror operation kills 28 since launch
A major operation against terror elements in Egypt has killed 28 fighters in the Sinai Peninsula since it was launched by the military on Friday (February 9th), AFP reported Monday.
Another 126 extremists have been arrested since "Operation Sinai 2018" was launched in Sinai, the central Nile Delta and the Western Desert near the border with Libya, the army said on Monday.
The army destroyed 66 terror hideouts, 11 pickup vehicles and 31 motorbikes, army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said in a statement.
It discovered and destroyed an explosives-making laboratory and a communications centre, as well as six cannabis and opium fields, he said.
A 250-metre long, covered tunnel also was found and destroyed during Monday's operations.
The operation also featured airstrikes outside North Sinai.
"The Air Force thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons and ammunition into the country from the west, by targeting and destroying four vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition," the army said.
"The terrorist elements overseeing the smuggling of those materials also were killed in the airstrikes," it said.
Full support for Operation Sinai
On Friday, Egypt’s parliament voiced its full support for the armed forces and police in their war against terrorism, as well as Operation Sinai 2018.
"Parliament values all the sacrifices of brave Egyptian soldiers, and calls on Egyptians to stand with police and the armed forces in the country’s war against terrorism, until the land of Egypt is cleansed of it forever," parliament speaker Ali Abdel Aal said.
MP Hossam al-Refai of North Sinai said all residents and tribes of the peninsula support Operation Sinai 2018.
"The people of Sinai are an integral part of the forces that are taking part in clearing the area of terrorist and takfiri groups," he told Al-Mashareq.
"They are prepared to sacrifice their own lives to help the army and police forces in their battle in North Sinai," he said.
The operation is aimed at reinforcing Egypt’s sovereignty in Sinai, uprooting takfiri groups and cutting their supply routes, in order to complete the comprehensive development plan of North, Central and South Sinai, he said.