Egypt Continues Military Operations In Sinai Amid Reports Of Israeli Backing

Major assault launched against IS in Egypt

In November, Sisi ordered his armed forces chief of staff to restore security in Sinai within three months after militants killed more than 300 worshippers at a mosque.

The army also said that 30 suspected terrorists were arrested.

Sinai 2018" is a continuation of a series of the "Martyr's Right" military operation "which were conducted against terrorists in North Sinai since September 2014, Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi told the reporters on Sunday.

The operation was started on Friday in response to a pickup in extremist violence in Egypt.

In its previously announced operation in Sinai, Egypt said it has killed 16 Islamist militants, destroyed dozens of weapons dumps, motorbikes and cars, according to a statement from the military.

Army spokesman Tamer Al Rifai said the extremists had been killed and detained during a "sweep and raids.in northern and central Sinai".

More news: Norway's Olympic team given 15000 eggs due to translation error

It also discovered and destroyed an explosives-making laboratory and a communications centre, as well as six cannabis and opium fields, he said.

It said many foreign countries have their eyes set on Sinai, claiming that terrorists carry out attacks in Sinai with "technological backing from intelligence [services] of countries hostile to Egypt".

The Salafi Call, the parent organisation of Egypt's Salafist Nour Party, said terrorism in Egypt has become more risky than at any previous time and the threat is increasing.

Egypt's security forces have been increasingly targeted by extremists since the army in 2013 overthrew Mr El Sisi's predecessor, president Mohammed Morsi.

Last week the New York Times reported that unmarked Israeli aircraft were carrying out covert strikes in Egypt with the Egyptian president's approval.

In a Facebook posting on his account, Sisi wrote: "I follow with pride the heroic actions of my sons in the armed forces and police to clear Egypt's territory of terrorist elements".

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