Egypt’s army destroys terrorist hideouts in Sinai

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Cairo, Feb 4 (IANS) Egyptian troops destroyed 16 terrorist hideouts and an ammunition storehouse in North Sinai province, the Egyptian army announced Sunday.

The military forces also destroyed four acres of marijuana crops in addition to a large amount of marijuana ready for sale, said Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Refaay in a statement, reported Xinhua.

“The forces of the Third Field Army continue their efforts to destroy terrorist and criminal elements in Central Sinai,” the statement said.

In late January, the army announced that it destroyed 14 terrorist hideouts in the same part of North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

North Sinai used to be the centre of terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers following the military’s removal of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

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The attacks later extended to several other provinces including the capital Cairo, and started to target the Coptic minority via church bombings and shootings.

Most of the terror attacks were carried out by the so-called Wilayat Sinai (Sinai state or province), a Sinai-based group affiliated with the Islamic State.

Terrorists even attacked a mosque in North Sinai’s Arish city last November, killing at least 310 Muslim worshippers and injuring more than 120 others in the deadliest terror attack and the first against a mosque in Egypt’s modern history. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the mosque attack.

Following the mosque attack, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the army to restore security and stability in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula within three months.

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Egyptian security forces have so far killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested thousands of suspects during the country’s anti-terror war declared by Sisi, the army chief then, following Morsi’s ouster in 2013.

–IANS

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