http://almashareq.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_am/newsbriefs/2019/05/16/newsbrief-02

47 suspected militants, 5 troops killed in Egypt's Sinai

Egypt's army on Thursday (May 16th) said 47 militants and five of its troops were killed as part of its military offensive in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where it is fighting the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

The suspected militants had "guns of different makes, ammunition, explosive devices in northern and central Sinai" in their possession, according to a video statement posted on the armed forces' social media accounts, AFP reported.

As part of the wide-ranging operation to secure Egypt's borders, 158 "criminal elements" were arrested.

The armed forces also neutralised 385 explosive devices that insurgents planted targeting security forces.

The army did not specify when the deaths and arrests took place, saying only that they happened as part of "recent efforts" against extremists.

The Sinai Peninsula, in the north-east of the country, is the epicentre of a hardened extremist insurgency spearheaded by ISIS.

In February 2018, the army launched a nationwide operation against militants, focusing mainly on the North Sinai region.

Some 650 militants and around 45 soldiers have been killed since the start of the offensive, according to the armed forces.

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