Egypt army kills 17 terrorists

Cairo, July 26 (IANS) The Egyptian armed forces killed 17 extremists during clashes at Sheikh Zuweid city in the restive North Sinai governorate, a media report said.

“The confrontation happened after militants attacked a military checkpoint in Sheikh Zuweid, and the military forces forced them to retreat and then attacked their hideout. Ten of them were killed,” Xinhua quoted a security official as saying on Saturday.

Air raids on militants at another town in Sheikh Zuweid killed seven.

The extremists are believed to be loyalists of the Sinai-based, Al Qaeda-inspired Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militant group, which has changed its name to “Sinai State” and vowed allegiance to the regional Islamic State militant group.

On Saturday, a recruit was shot dead by a sniper while he was on watch at a guard tower of Sheikh Zuweid police station.

In early July, terrorist attacks on several North Sinai checkpoints killed 17 military personnel, while raids carried out in militant hideouts during the following days killed over 250 of them.

Militant activities mounted in Egypt since the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the army in July 2013.

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