Egypt's army said Sunday (August 5th) its forces have killed 52 extremists in Sinai, where the military is conducting a vast operation against militants.
Egyptian forces launched "Operation Sinai 2018" in February to rid the peninsula of militants who have been waging a bloody insurgency.
"Over the last few days, the operations have led to... the elimination of 52 extremely dangerous takfiri individuals," the military said in a statement.
During these operations in North Sinai and the centre of the peninsula, 49 militants were also arrested in joint raids conducted by the armed forces and the police, the statement added.
Egyptian forces also destroyed 26 hideouts and weapon caches in North Sinai and the centre that contained food, clothing, and books and tapes that promote extremist thought.
The air force destroyed 15 vehicles loaded with ammunition and weapons as they tried to infiltrate the country’s west border, and destroyed 17 vehicles in the southern military zone, the army statement said.
Militants' infrastructure destroyed
Last week, army spokesman Brig. Gen. Tamer al-Refaie said in his first interview about the operations in Sinai with Al-Ahram that the campaign has destroyed militants’ infrastructure, including hideouts, trenches, tunnels, and weapons and ammunition caches.
It also has destroyed the militants' media and communications centres, he said.
The army's statement confirms that Sinai Operation 2018 has so far succeeded in destroying the militants’ infrastructure and major gatherings in the peninsula, said Maj. Gen. Hesham al-Halabi, an advisor at Nasser Military Academy.
"The statement clearly notes the concerted efforts of the armed and police forces, as well as locals in Sinai, in accurately targeting the terrorists and their positions in the peninsula," he said.
The war the armed forces are waging in Sinai requires time and the concerted efforts of all state agencies, he added.
Security and developmental strategies must be put in place to "uproot terrorism from the Sinai Peninsula, reconstruct it with investments and help exploit its rich wealth", al-Halabi said.
These developments come at a time when Prime Minister Mustafa Madbuli's government has vowed to focus on development and infrastructure projects in Sinai to reconstruct the peninsula and boost investments there.