Egypt set to launch 'comprehensive' army op in Sinai

Egypt set to launch 'comprehensive' army op in Sinai

"The Egyptian armed forces and police elements have been mobilized for a comprehensive operation... aimed at purging Sinai of terrorist elements", al-Rifai was quoted as saying on the army's Facebook page.

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

Security services have been intensified and a larger number of security forces have been deployed on the streets at fixed checkpoints, patrolling governorates and the borders linking them, the source said.

Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April a year ago, after two suicide bombings at churches claimed by Daesh killed at least 45 people in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria.

The goal is to tighten control of border districts and "clean up areas where there are terrorist hotbeds". Meanwhile, security authorities have been told to continue operations to comb the Nile islands, mountainous areas, and remote villages.

Egypt set to launch 'comprehensive' army op in Sinai

Egypt has been waging a military campaign against jihadists in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Egypt has begun a sweeping military operation against the militants active in violence-torn North Sinai Province in the extreme northwest and the nearby Nile Delta.

The militants have also attacked tourists, killing all 224 on board a Russian plane carrying holidaymakers in 2015.

He added that the operation is launched as part of the efforts to reach the three-month deadline set by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to eliminate terrorism after the mosque attack that killed more than 300 people in the northern Sinai city of Arish in November, 2017.

Egypt has previously announced several major offensives to tackle the militants threat.

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