Roadside bombs kill 10 Egyptian soldiers

At least 15 ISIL fighters also die during a raid in the volatile Sinai peninsula, Egyptian military says.

    Ten Egyptian security personnel, including three army officers, have been killed in two roadside bombings during a security operation in Egypt’s troubled Sinai peninsula on Thursday, an Egyptian army spokesman said.

    The explosions hit the security vehicles during a raid on a group affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

    Security forces said at least 15 ISIL fighters were killed and seven arrested during the operation. Soldiers also found half a tonne of explosives, as well as cars, weapons and hundreds of mobile phones.

    "While pursuing the terrorists, two army vehicles struck roadside bombs, leading to the martyrdom of three army officers and seven other military personnel," army spokesman Tamer el-Refai said in a statement.

    OPINION: Sinai insurgency - An enduring risk

    Yehia Ghanem, Al Jazeera's Middle East analyst, said security operations against armed groups in the area will continue.

    "It's not the first and it's not it's not going to be the last as long as nobody addresses the real issues in Sinai," Ghanem said. "Sinai and the Egyptian locals have always felt alienated by the central government for decades."

    'Incubator' for violence

    Egyptian forces have battled various armed groups who have gained pace in the rugged and thinly populated Sinai peninsula since the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013.

    Since then, hundreds of police officers and soldiers have been killed in attacks, prompting a number of security restrictions in the area.

     

    Ghanem said such restrictions are not working, however, and are instead encouraging the rise of anti-government fighters.

    "I believe the security approach, the restricting security measures is not the real medication for what's happening in Sinai," he said.

    Egypt's Coptic Christians flee Sinai after killings

    "People in Sinai have to be given this feeling of being part of the homeland in the valley. Laws have to change because the environment that was prepared over decades in Sinai actually suits or plays as an incubator for such ... violent acts."

    In January, a truck-bomb attack on a checkpoint killed at least seven police officers in the city of el-Arish in northern Sinai. In a separate incident in January at least five soldiers were killed by unknown gunmen.

    There have also been a number of attacks by armed groups on Egypt's Coptic Chrisitans, forcing hundreds to flee Sinai. Last month, ISIL released a video threatening to carry out attacks against Christians in the country. 

    The Sinai borders Israel and Palestine's Gaza Strip.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    As tensions over India's citizenship law shine a light on Assam, a writer explores the historical tensions in the state.

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    The story of a man who spent 19 years awaiting execution reveals the power of a false blasphemy claim to destroy a life.

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    Syria's refugee crisis has shone a light on sex trafficking in Lebanon, where victims are often treated as criminals.