Egypt kills 10, arrests 400 in Sinai military operation, army says

REUTERS
CAIRO
Published
In this undated handout photo made available Feb. 9, 2018, Egyptian Army's Armored Vehicles are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants in Ismailia, Egypt. (Egypt's Ministry of Defense via Reuters)
In this undated handout photo made available Feb. 9, 2018, Egyptian Army's Armored Vehicles are seen on a highway to North Sinai during a launch of a major assault against militants in Ismailia, Egypt. (Egypt's Ministry of Defense via Reuters)

Egyptian security forces killed 10 militants in an exchange of fire and arrested 400 suspects, including foreigners, in a continuing crackdown in Sinai, the army said in a statement carried by state TV on Tuesday.

Based on army statements, around 38 militants have been killed since the latest offensive to crush insurgents blamed for a string of attacks began.

Egypt launched a major security operation on Friday involving the army and police against "terrorist and criminal elements and organizations" across the country, according to the army spokesman.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who is seeking re-election in March, ordered the armed forces in November to defeat militants within three months after an attack on a mosque killed more than 300 people, the deadliest such violence in the Arab world's most populous country.

The insurgency poses the greatest challenge to the government in a country that is both the most populous in the Arab World and a main regional ally of the United States.

Sissi seized power in 2014 after the army orchestrated a coup d'etat to oust Egypt's first ever democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi.

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