Fighters killed in Egypt air raid on Sinai

State news agency reports at least ten fighters were killed after Egyptian army targeted hideouts in North Sinai.

    At least 10 fighters have been killed in an air raid on Egypt's North Sinai governorate, state news media has reported. 

    MENA news agency, quoting security sources, reported on Saturday that the men were killed when their hideouts south of Sheikh Zuweid and El Arish in the Egyptian Sinai were targeted. 

    The raids also destroyed a vehicle thought to be used by the fighters in launching attacks on the military and police. 

    The army has launched a massive crackdown against armed groups in Sinai Peninsula that has killed scores of policemen and soldiers, since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last year.

    It has demolished hundreds of homes along the border with the Gaza strip, stoking tensions with area residents.

    President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced the demolition plan, and issued a state of emergency there, after fighters killed 31 Egyptian troops in an assault on a checkpoint 30km from Rafah.

    In November, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a prominent Sinai-based group, which claimed responsibility for that attack, announced its allegiance to the ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

    Armed groups have been battling security forces in Sinai for a decade, but the violence particularly spiked after Morsi's overthrow, spreading to other parts of the country.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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