Egypt on brink of ridding Sinai of terrorism: army general

A top Egyptian military official on Tuesday (March 14th) told lawmakers that the Egyptian army is on the brink of eliminating terrorism in North Sinai, Egypt's Ahram Online reported.

Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shahin, the Egyptian defence minister's deputy for legislative and constitutional affairs, made his comments in a meeting held by the parliamentary agriculture committee, with governor of Ismailia Yassin Taher in attendance.

"The elimination of terrorism in North Sinai, which is very near, will pave the way for revoking the emergency measures that have been in effect there since 2013," Shahin said.

The army has been battling the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) in North Sinai since 2013, and a state of emergency has been extended several times in parts of the peninsula .

"Emergency measures, including long curfew hours, were imposed in Sinai in order to safeguard its citizens against terrorism and help prevent it from infiltrating all of Egypt," he said.

However, he added, "the army has always been of the mind that emergency measures in Sinai are to be implemented on a very limited scale so that the citizens of Sinai can move easily and live a normal life".

Shahin told the lawmakers that the government and the army are keen on seeing Sinai become an attractive environment for investment once the scourge of terrorism has been eliminated.

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